Three generations of Clare family protest at ‘climate criminal’ Trump

Fiona Wheeler (68) has opposed every US presidential visit but sees Trump as ‘the most dangerous’

Fiona Wheeler, along with her daughter Aisling, and her four-year old granddaughter Freya, were among the contingent this week at the Shannonwatch Peace Camp, at Shannon Airport.

Fiona Wheeler, along with her daughter Aisling, and her four-year old granddaughter Freya, were among the contingent this week at the Shannonwatch Peace Camp, at Shannon Airport.

 

The Wheeler women from Ennistymon, Co Clare have been protesting against visiting US presidents for nearly 40 years.

Fiona Wheeler, along with her daughter Aisling, and her four-year old granddaughter Freya, were among the contingent this week at the Shannonwatch Peace Camp, at Shannon Airport.

But, they have been a constant presence at the airport every few weeks since the early 2000s when US soldiers first began transiting through Shannon on their way to conflict zones.

“We are supposed to be a neutral country yet we have consistently allowed American military planes through Shannon. No planes have ever been examined. They do what they like here,” says Fiona (68).

Born in 1950, she has participated in demonstrations since she was 16, and has protested against every Irish visit by a US president.

“I think, of all of the US presidents, Donald Trump is the most dangerous thing that the world has ever seen,” she says, citing not only his military standpoint but his views on climate change.

“Thankfully I won’t live long enough to have to live through a lot of it, but my daughter and grandchildren will.”

Taking up her mother’s point, Aisling (43), who is representing Extinction Rebellion Clare at the camp, says Trump is “actively promoting coal and gas and oil, and increasing emissions. So in my eyes that is actually a criminal act.

“He is a climate criminal and he is going to be responsible for the deaths of millions of people because of droughts and famines and climate wars in the future.”

Others who travelled to Shannon included Trump supporters Catherine Purcell from Thurles, Co Tipperary, and Co Laois couple Sheila and Larry Sheehan. “He is a man of god and god is using him for good,” Purcell said.