19 May 2005 Edition

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Military overflights insult Irish neutrality

Commenting on news at the weekend that the Irish taxpayer has forked out €10 million for foreign and military overflights, the majority of which were US military flights, many to Iraq, Sinn Féin Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said it was an "insult to the Irish people and to Irish neutrality."

"The fact that the Irish Government has and still is aiding and abetting America's and Britain's illegal war in Iraq by allowing American war planes to land and refuel at Shannon Airport is enough to infuriate the people of Ireland as it is in direct contravention of our neutral status," said Ó Snodaigh.

"Irish people will now be incensed to hear that the taxpayer is forking out millions of Euro each year to pay for US military overflights through Irish airspace on their way to Iraq.

"Sinn Féin wants to see the US military out of Shannon Airport and the lifting of the exemption under the Eurocontrol agreement that allows the US to pass through Irish-controlled airspace on their way to an illegal war at the expense of the Irish taxpayer."


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