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Wednesday 21 February 2018

Over 1,270 planes with US weapons allowed here

Pat Flynn

THE Government gave permission to 1,276 flights operated on behalf of the US military to carry weapons through Ireland last year.

Department of Transport figures show how many planes carrying military equipment were allowed through Ireland in 2009 -- while 30 aircraft were refused permits.

The majority of these flights, which were undertaken by US civilian airlines contracted by the US Pentagon, landed at Shannon airport.

Transport Minister Noel Dempsey has not given the destination of the weapons.

"In general, flight applications of this type identify the airports immediately preceding and following the aircraft's arrival in Shannon.

"The final destination of these flights would not necessarily be known by my department," he said.

Shannonwatch, a group which monitors US military and CIA use of Shannon, said: "This is surprising since the minister has already stated that a flight plan must be filed for all civil and military flights across international borders."

Mr Dempsey also said that approximately 90pc of the flights that requested permission to carry weapons or munitions related to troops' personal weapons which are "safely stowed".

Irish Independent

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