*Photograph: Joe Buckley

SHANNON AIRPORT’s access road was brought to a standstill by protesters on Sunday.

An estimated 500 people partook in a demonstration organised by Shannonwatch on Sunday afternoon but a “spontaneous” protest developed connected to this which saw over a dozen individuals conduct a sit-down protest on the N19.

Shortly after 1pm on Sunday, a strong Garda presence was beginning to form on the approach road to Shannon Airport in advance of the scheduled demonstration. Other groups involved included Mothers against Genocide, IPSC groups from Clare, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Kerry and Cork, Múinteoirí ar son na Palestine, Pals for Palestine, People Before Profit, the Workers Party and members of Clare PPN.

Groups marched from Drumgeely along the N19 as part of Shannonwatch’s protest which they later described as their “biggest demonstration in years”, this began at 2pm and lasted just under an hour. Politicians present included TDs, Catherine Connolly (IND), Brid Smith (PBP) and MEP, Clare Daly (I4C).

Soon after, persons attached to the demonstration then proceeded to block access for motorists trying to get to Shannon Airport until approximately 4:40pm on Sunday. Passengers attempting to get flights were forced to leave their vehicles and travel on foot for 2km to the Airport while others were given lifts by An Garda Síochána positioned at the other side of the blockade.

Gardaí were forced to physically remove protesters who clung on to barriers. Strong levels of verbal abuse was hurled at Gardaí while they carried out their duties. At this stage, protesters shouted “Shut Shannon down” and “US military out of Shannon”.

London woman Hannah Hughes spoke to The Clare Echo while waiting in the queue of traffic to try catch her flight. She was unable to leave her rental car at Starbucks and encountered a 100 minute delay as a result of the protest. She supported the protest but not the manner in which they conducted their business, “I don’t agree with any of this stuff or the police chucking them around, I agree with supporting peace and being anti-war but there is nothing I can do about it”.

A spokeswoman for Shannon Airport confirmed that all flights operated as per schedule despite the protest. “As far as we are aware there were no delay to passengers”.

Monaghan native, Aindriú de Buitléir who is now based in Connemara was one of the speakers on Sunday’s protest. He is currently on bail having been one of three people who attempted to block a US military plane in Shannon Airport last month. “People have come from all around the country, it is clear, we haven’t had a demonstration like this in Shannon since the Iraq War, the level of oppression faced by the Palestinians calls for this level of action, I think we met it with a proportionate level of a rally here today”.

He told The Clare Echo, “The disruption was really important, the disruption came from the organisations that put a global call for action out, we have collectively answered the call, that is to disrupt the trade routes and to cause a level of disruption that needs to be felt, I think most people in the queue today are behind us. There’s different approaches to these actions, today was an appropriate level of response, it was a spontaneous protest, it is important to acknowledge that, it happened spontaneously and it is unfortunate that there was disruption to individuals, that was not the intention, our intention is to force the Irish State to put sanctions on Israel and stop US military planes travelling through Shannon.

Cratloe’s Eddie Punch (IND) who is contesting the European elections said the actions of the protesters will do nothing to alleviate the victims of Israel’s ongoing military action in Gaza. “Of course, protests at Shannon Airport are nothing new but all that blocking the N19 achieved was to inconvenience passengers wishing to access the terminal, it didn’t prevent the deployment of any Israeli military hardware. Diplomatic action must be pursued to end this appalling war. Blocking the road into Shannon Airport on Sunday last represented an empty, attention-seeking gesture which ultimately benefited no-one”.

Related News

ben sweeney 1
Ex Clare FM producer Sweeney hired as new PA to Deputy Crowe
le24 pat keane mary cillian murphy 1
'It is down to party management that we lost a seat in West Clare' - Murphy misses out on second term
river fergus post office field
Stronger measures needed to tackle water pollution
glinsk heritage park 1
Outdoor infrastructure funding boost for three Galway communities
Latest News
le24 pat keane mary cillian murphy 1
'It is down to party management that we lost a seat in West Clare' - Murphy misses out on second term
newmarket on fergus v wolfe tones 27-08-23 eoin guilfoyle 1
Back to back defeats for Inamona allows Blues take spot with Clare Cup semi-finalists confirmed
clare v donegal 15-06-24 daniel walsh 1
Promotion back to Division 2 essential to develop Clare football
river fergus post office field
Stronger measures needed to tackle water pollution
clare v antrim ladies football 17-03-24 caoimhe harvey 1
Clare to face Tyrone at home in All-Ireland quarter-final
Premium
clare v waterford 19-05-24 ken ralph 2
'We will drive on again' says Clare selector Ralph
clare v kilkenny minor 16-06-24 paul rodgers 1
Clare minors come out wrong side of extra time All-Ireland semi-final thriller with Kilkenny
fiona levie holly cairns 1
Fiona 'bitten by political bug' but 'really disappointed' no woman elected in East Clare
le24 election shane talty 2
Talty triumphant following 'ferocious election campaign'
clare v donegal 15-06-24 2 manus doherty
Drubbing from Donegal ends Clare's involvement in football championship

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

Scroll to Top