Senator Higgins expresses shock at U.S. military photo-op in Shannon airport

On Saturday, U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence tweeted photos from a stop off in Shannon airport raising concerns yet again of Ireland's support for U.S. military operations and infringements of our neutrality.

Once again, this highlights concerns which have been regularly voiced by peace activists and politicians of the ongoing use of Shannon airport by the U.S. military.

Senator Higgins stated that it was concerning that a foreign administration would conduct a military photo-op on Irish soil with troops who were taking part in actions far outside the Irish "triple lock" and the normal UN conventions.

The mission that Vice-President Pence was on was far outside both the Irish triple-lock and the standards of the U.N.; a mission to promote the active disregard of UN resolutions through promoting the opening of the U.S. embassy for Israel in Jerusalem.

It represents another infringement of Irish neutrality which is widely supported by the Irish public. This comes on the back of the Government signing up to the EU military defence pact known as PESCO on behalf of Ireland before Christmas. And the demotion of humanitarian search and rescue in the mandate of the marine missions in the Mediterranean. 

Senator Higgins asked the Government whether they were aware of that this photo-op would happen? She also asked them to account for the decision making process that allowed a U.S. military photo-op to take place on Irish soil.

This exchange with the Leader of the House was covered by RTE:

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