Galway Alliance Against War statement re Niall Farrell Limerick 1st of Augustr Farrell will surrender himself to the Gardaí today @ 1pm

Posted: August 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

GALWAY ALLIANCE AGAINST WAR

 

PRESS RELEASE

 

GALWAY PEACE ACTIVIST DEMANDS POLITICAL STATUS

 

 

Niall Farrell of the peace group Galway Alliance Against War has written to the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, demanding that he be treated as a political prisoner when he starts a two week sentence on Friday.

 

Mr Farrell was arrested on two occasions along with Margaretta D’Arcy as they held a peaceful protest on the runway at Shannon airport. They are opposed to the US military’s use of the airport as a forward base in the illegal wars of Washington and its proxies.

 

In his letter to Minister Fitzgerald, Niall Farrell argues that his “actions at Shannon airport were specifically to oppose the continuing criminality taking place there…. Indeed, as I write, cargoes of death that have travelled freely through Shannon airport or Irish airspace are raining down in an act of genocide on the helpless people of Gaza. It is not I who is the criminal, rather those in the Irish state who have willingly been an accessory to these crimes against humanity carried out via Shannon airport and Irish airspace by the US war machine and its proxies.”

 

Mr Farrell concludes the letter to the Minister stating: “By sending me to Limerick Prison to serve this sentence the Irish state is attempting to criminalise my peaceful political actions. I cannot and will not accept this. I demand the right to be treated as a political prisoner and if I am not, I will not conform while in jail.”

 

The Galway Alliance Against War will hold a peace event at 1pm this Friday, August 1st , at the Liam Mellows’ statue on Eyre Square, Galway before Mr Farrell surrenders himself to the Gardaí. 

 

Below a copy of the letter to the Minister for Justice from Niall Farrell

 

30th July 2014

 

Dear Frances Fitzgerald,

 

I am writing in relation to my impending imprisonment in Limerick Gaol for having apparently “interfered with the proper use” of Shannon airport last Sept 1st (2013). On Friday by telephone the Garda Warrants’ Office in Galway informed me that there is a warrant for my arrest to serve two weeks imprisonment as a result of my conviction at Ennis District Court in June 2014. I have arranged to be arrested this coming Friday on my return from having been abroad.

 

I wish to make it clear that my so-called offence was political, not criminal. I am therefore calling on you to have me treated as a political prisoner, while I am very briefly in jail. By sending me to Limerick Prison to serve this sentence I believe the Irish state is not only trying to criminalise me, but also criminalise the Peace Movement in Ireland.

 

My actions at Shannon airport were specifically to oppose the continuing criminality taking place there. On a daily basis for some 13 years the US military has transported millions of troops and unknown quantities of weaponry to warzones – the result has been the deaths of at least one million innocent people and the destruction of once successfully functioning societies. Indeed, as I write cargoes of death that have travelled freely through Shannon airport or Irish airspace are raining down in an act of genocide on the helpless people of Gaza.

 

It is not I who is the criminal, rather those in the Irish state who have willingly been an accessory to these crimes against humanity carried out via Shannon airport and Irish airspace by the US war machine and its proxies.

 

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

 

Judge Patrick Durcan, who was the trial judge, did not see any relevance in the Nuremberg Principles. But, of course, he wouldn’t , would he? Judge Durcan has good Fine Gael pedigree: a former FG Senator, the election agent of Michael Ring at the last general election, even a former running mate of Enda Kenny, who – lo and behold – elevated him to the bench months after Fine Gael took power.

 

So, not only was the “offence” committed by Margaretta D’Arcy and myself political, but the judge who tried us, Patrick Durcan, stems from the very Fine Gael elite that allows the criminality at Shannon to continue unimpeded.

 

In other words, this case for which I am being imprisoned for two weeks is top to bottom political. By sending me to Limerick Prison to serve this sentence the Irish state is attempting to criminalise my peaceful political actions. I cannot and will not accept this. I demand the right to be treated as a political prisoner and if I am not, I will not conform while in jail.

 

Yours,

 

Niall Farrell

 

 

 

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