‘Rudolf’s Red Nose Radar’ has been ‘installed’ on the roof of Shannon Airport
Nandi O’Sullivan writes:
Shannon Group has announced that a special seasonal flight to the Arctic Circle will lift off this December from Shannon Airport.
To celebrate the airport is launching a special competition for a fairy-tale trip for a lucky family on Thursday 2nd December to Santa’s home in Lapland over 4,000 km away.
Online entry forms are available on the Shannon Airport website from November 17. To win all you need to do is fill in the competition form and say why you would like to win and what you would like for Christmas.
To ensure all competition entries get to their destination in warp time, the latest technology has been installed at the airport. Thanks to this revolutionary technology entries will be beamed direct to the North Pole through the world’s first Rudolph Red Nose Radar system which has been specially installed on the roof of the airport terminal building…
The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225 touched down from China carrying a cargo consignment for distribution in the Irish retail sector.
The six-storey-high, Ukrainian-built Antonov AN-225 is the only one of its kind. It has a wingspan of 88 metres, 32 wheels and is capable of carrying 640,000 tonnes on take-off. Known as the ‘Mriya’ the Russian word for dream.
With the longest runway in Ireland at 3,199m, Shannon Airport is the only airport in Ireland capable of accommodating the Antonov AN-225.
The Antonov is due to depart Shannon tomorrow at 9am.
Throngs of Iraqis gathered on the streets of the capital, Baghdad, on Friday to protest the United States military presence at the behest of a leading populist cleric and armed forces with ties to Iran.
The demonstration came three weeks after the United States launched a drone strike in capital that killed the Iranian commander Maj. Gen. Qassim Suleimani and a prominent member of the Iraqi government, Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, with close ties to the Popular Mobilization Forces, some of whom are close to Iran.
Days later, at the urging of the Iraqi prime minister, the Parliament endorsed a measure demanding the expulsion of foreign forces from Iraq, which in the minds of most Iraqis meant American troops.
The protest on Friday was the first designed specifically to denounce the American presence in Iraq since the parliamentary measure.
US military planes at Shannon Airport; tweets from Irish Times journalist Simon Carswell
Iran’s ambassador to Ireland Masoud Eslami spoke to journalists in Dublin.
Simon Carswell, of The Irish Times, reports:
On the question of whether Shannon could be targeted by Iran in response to US military action against Tehran, Mr Eslami said: “I would rule that out for the time being. This is a very far speculation. We are very far from such a situation.”
Mr Eslami called on the Irish Government to reconsider Shannon Airport being used by American troops transiting through Ireland as they travel between the United States and the country’s military bases in the Middle East.
“In principle, we would ask the authorities to reconsider the use of Shannon Airport to facilitate military action by the US, which has been an issue at the local level, at the national level in Ireland,” the diplomat told reporters at the Iran’s embassy in south Dublin.
“We know from Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers, the US Army veterans who were in Ireland for most of last year, that they transited when they were in the US Army through Shannon and that they had weaponry on them.
“So there’s no doubt about it. Why else would they be passing through to the Middle East? Thousands of troops are not going on their holidays.
“Clearly they’re engaged in military action and the monitoring of that aircraft by local groups on the ground, Shannonwatch, Shannon Radar, would vindicate that…”
She also said that she believed Tánaiste Simon Coveney should strongly condemn the “unlawful, illegal action of the United States government”.
“I think, in response he [Coveney] should say that all permission of the US military, to transit through Shannon [Airport] is being halted until the matter is investigated further.”
On Thursday, at 7pm, outside the US embassy in Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.
The Peace and Neutrality Alliance along with a broad alliance of people from human rights to climate change activists and anti-war groups is calling for your support for this vigil outside the US Embassy in Dublin this Thursday.
President Michael D Higgins was doing an interview with WYNC, during which Ellen Davidson, wife of Tarek Kauff, rang into the show.
Ms Davidson, who lives in Manhattan but is currently based in Dublin, said:
“I understand President Higgins is a big supporter of Irish neutrality so I’m wondering why the Irish Government is allowing US military flights to go through Shannon Airport in violation of that neutrality, bringing troops to the Middle East, to the wars that cause the refugees he’s been talking about.
“And, also, about the case of two US veterans who did a peaceful protest against those flights in March and they’ve been held in Ireland ever since, without their passports, on very minor charges, for a peaceful protest.”
President Higgins responded:
“Yes, I think that your caller will know these are issues, when I was a member of parliament, I spoke and acted very often. I do think that the issue – the two people whose case I am familiar – is a matter for Government and I will draw the attention of Government to it.
“But you’ll appreciate that as president, I cannot interfere in the executive decisions of Government.”
Meanwhile, also yesterday…
At the New York. Library.
President Higgins took part in an interview with journalist and senior writer at the New York Times Dan Barry.
After the interview finished, Zaidie Mayers, the granddaughter of Mr Mayers, approached President Higgins and raised her granddad’s case.
President Higgins said:
“I’ve read about the two people who were on that walk. I’ll see what I can do.”
#SHANNONairport: We are currently working to remove the aircraft from the scene of the incident so we can resume safe operations on the runway. This may take some time.
We are advising passengers to continue with check-in.
While I was happy to see your prominent coverage about my husband Tarak Kauff and Ken Mayers getting arrested at Shannon Airport, I was disappointed that there was barely a reference to why these two members of Veterans For Peace risked arrest and spent nearly two weeks in jail without bail.
There is no mention of the fact that the US uses Shannon Airport to refuel military flights, in direct violation of Irish neutrality, and that a US military-contracted aircraft was, in fact, on the tarmac the morning they were arrested, which was confirmed by the arresting officer at their arraignment.
Since 2001, Shannon has been a pitstop for flights of US soldiers, weapons, and munitions to its illegal wars in the Middle East and for rendition flights carrying prisoners to US torture sites.
Millions of troops have flown through “neutral” Ireland on their way to the US-created and supported murder and mayhem in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and other places.
The Irish Government is thus complicit in the war crimes and atrocities committed by the US military.
Authorities have turned a blind eye to the situation, and Ken and Tarak were trying to get local police to enforce Ireland’s neutrality and inspect the aircraft.
Tarak and Ken were treated well in prison and made friends among the guards and other prisoners, many of whom supported their action and encouraged them to “keep protesting”, and I hope they can also be given a fair hearing in Ireland’s leading newspaper as to the important motivations for the actions that landed them in jail.