Clarification: Niall Burgess

An article published last Wednesday, concerning evidence given by Niall Burgess, secretary-general of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to an Oireachtas committee, referred to “contraband firearms and dangerous materials”. Contraband was not Mr Burgess’ description.

Weapons coming into Shannon are prohibited unless a waiver is granted.

Mr Burgess pointed out to the committee that. “under the Air Navigation (Carriage of Munitions of War, Weapons and Dangerous Goods) Order 1973, the carriage of weapons through Shannon Airport on commercial aircraft is prohibited unless an exemption has been obtained in advance from the Minister for Transport.

The carriage of the personal weapons of US military personnel on board chartered aircraft in transit through Shannon Airport is subject to the issuance of an exemption in respect of each individual flight.”


“We received something like 700 requests for exemption at Shannon Airport last year. 85 per cent of those requests related to the carriage of personal weapons but the US authorities were required to confirm beforehand that those personal weapons were out of access in the hold,” he added.