Tuesday 26 September 2017

‘Can I have my rope ladder back?,' Independent TD Mick Wallace asks judge

Mick Wallace TD
Mick Wallace TD

By Gordon Deegan

Independent TD, Mick Wallace today asked a district court judge: "Can I have my rope ladder back?”

Deputy Wallace made the request at Ennis District Court after the rope ladder claimed to be used by Deputy Clare Daly and the Wexford deputy to scale the perimeter fence at Shannon airport last July was presented in evidence.

In reply, Judge Patrick Durcan said that he wouldn’t deal with the request now and Mr Wallace could ask for it again later in the day.

Mr Wallace (59) of Clontarf Rd, Clontarf, Dublin and Deputy Clare Daly (46) of Elmwood Drive, Swords, Fingal are appearing in court today concerning their alleged illegal entrance into a restricted area of Shannon airport on July 22nd last.

CCTV footage has been shown to the court of the two standing on a grass verge located inside the airfield and involved in conversation with airport police.

Airport Police Officer (APO), Declan Vaughan told the court that when he came across Deputy Wallace and Deputy Daly inside the perimeter fence on July 22nd last, Deputy Wallace requested the assistance of the Irish army to inspect a US military plane nearby.

Two US military planes were parked on the runway nearby.

Mr Wallace told the court that the reason that they entered the airport airfield was to search the military planes, because they were not being searched by the Irish authorities.

Sgt Donal O’Rourke told the court that on meeting with the two, he was told by Deputy Wallace that they “entered the airport in order to make a political statement regarding the use of Shannon airport for military purposes and to bring it to the attention of the Minister because the minister is not listening”.

Sgt O’Rourke said that Deputy Daly sustained a cut to her lip and her two fingers when coming over the airport perimeter fence. He said that she declined any medical assistance offered.

APO, Declan Vaughan told the court that all US military aircraft at Shannon airport receive the protection of the Irish army.

The State is to call six witness with the two deputies are to call five witnesses.

Those in court to support the two deputies include Margaretta D’Arcy who has already served two periods in jail - one lasting three months - after refusing to sign a bond that she not enter restricted zones at Shannon.

Former UN Assistant Secretary General, Denis Halliday is also in court.

The case continues.

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