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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Woman (78) arrested on airport runway

Pat Flynn

SECURITY fears have been raised at Shannon Airport after a 78-year-old pensioner and an anti-war campaigner were able to breach the perimeter by apparently climbing over a fence.

Margaretta D'Arcy (78), a playwright and peace campaigner, and Niall Farrell (59), a member of Galway Alliance Against War, were spotted by air traffic controllers as they made their way to the runway shortly after 4pm.

They got to the edge of the runway before they were arrested.

The pair said they wanted to stage a "non-violent peaceful action" to mark the 11th anniversary of the US presence in Afghanistan. Ms D'Arcy also planned to scatter the ashes of her late partner, John Arden, on the runway. However, it is understood that she didn't manage to do this before her arrest.

Ms D'Arcy and Mr Farrell were taken to Shannon garda station for questioning and were later released without charge. A file is being prepared for the DPP.

It is the latest in a series of security breaches at the airport by anti-war campaigners. Fianna Fail transport spokesman Timmy Dooley said he was concerned that such incursions could make it into the international media and negatively impact on decisions by airlines to come to Shannon.

Gardai said the perimeter fence did not reveal any obvious damage and it appeared the duo had scaled the fence.

Two inbound flights were slightly delayed as a result of the action. An airport spokesman said: "A security incident occurred and is being investigated by gardai."

Irish Independent

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