IRELAND: 79 Year Old Peace Activist Jailed For Peaceful Protest
by R. Teichmann
Yesterday on the 15th of January, 79 year old artist and peace activist Margaretta D'Arcy was arrested and jailed in Limerick Prison. She was convicted in December last for "endangering lives by blocking two flights from landing at Shannon in October of 2012". What actually happened was that she and activist Niall Farrell protested peacefully against the use of Shannon Airport by the US military. She is now facing 3 months behind bars for following her conscience. During the trial she tried to make a citizen's arrest of the judge on grounds of collusion. She also refused to sign a bond prohibiting her from entering 'unauthorised zones' at Shannon Airport. She was promised that this would have resulted in her sentence to be suspended.
After the protest in October of 2012 the Galway Alliance Against War released a statement after the pair blocked the runway at Shannon,saying:
Over the past twelve years consecutive Irish governments have colluded in Washington’s campaign of wars from Afghanistan to Yemen, in which up to 2 million people have perished. By allowing the US military to use Irish airspace and Shannon airport to wage these wars we have become a willing accessory to mass murder. We have blood on our hands…we feel we have no alternative but to block the runway at Shannon to highlight Irish involvement in this carnage
Margaretta is being treated for cancer and there is concern about her health and treatment while in prison. John Lannon, spokesperson for Shannonwatch.org told the news site The Journal:
We’ve called repeatedly on President Higgins to reiterate his anti-war stance and due to his friendship with Margaretta, we think it would be appropriate for him to visit her in prison and acknowledge her situation.
Tomorrow, Friday the 17th of January, there will be a demonstration outside Limerick Prison in support of Margaretta. I urge all peace activists ouside of Ireland to e-mail the Irish diplomatic mission in their respective country to protest against the jailing of Margaretta.
R. Teichmann is an activist living in West Cork / Ireland and editor of www.news-beacon-ireland.info