Friday 20 April 2018

Judge warns TDs his court is not the 'Skibbereen Eagle'

Mick Wallace and Clare Daly arriving at Ennis Court with supporter Margaretta Darcy yesterday
Mick Wallace and Clare Daly arriving at Ennis Court with supporter Margaretta Darcy yesterday

Gordon Deegan

A judge has warned that he does not want his court to take on the role of the 'Skibbereen Eagle' during a case involving Dáil deputies Mick Wallace and Clare Daly.

The TDs are appearing at Ennis District Court concerning their alleged illegal entrance into a restricted area of Shannon airport on July 22 last.

Representing himself, 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.

The now-defunct 'Skibbereen Eagle' newspaper is best known for a 1898 editorial where it warned that it would keep its eye on the Emperor of Russia.

Judge Patrick Durcan said that he didn't want his court to embark on a trawl or trail of issues that are totally irrelevant to the case.

The court was told that the US military cannot project military power in its global 'war on terror' without the use of Shannon Airport as it is currently configured.

Security analyst Dr Tom Clonan yesterday said that "if Shannon was being used by any other group to cause the type of damage that the 2.25 million US troops that have passed through Shannon have caused, then the US would rightly identify it as a target". He said that "Irish citizens are perceived now as a hostile party by Islamic resistance groups".

After gardaí presented a rope ladder in evidence, Mr Wallace asked Judge Patrick Durcan: "Can I have my rope ladder back?" Judge Durcan replied that the issue could be dealt with later in the case.

Airport Police Officer Declan Vaughan told the court that when he came across the TDs inside the perimeter fence, Mr Wallace requested the assistance of the Irish Army to inspect a US military plane nearby.

Sgt Donal O'Rourke told the court that on meeting with the two, he was told by Mr Wallace that they "entered the airport in order to make a political statement".

Sgt O'Rourke said that Ms Daly sustained a cut to her lip and her two fingers climbing over the airport perimeter fence, but he said that she declined any medical assistance offered.

Judge Durcan adjourned the case to March 10.

Irish Independent

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