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:

More Stories

The Civil Engagement Group introduce bill to ban trade with illegal settlements

On Tuesday January 30th, the Civil Engagement Group brought the Control of Economic Activity (Occupied Territories) Bill to the Seanad which sought to ban trade in goods and services from illegal settlements in occupied territories. While Minister Coveney expressed his commitment to the aims of the bill but he was unwilling to support it at this time. As a result, we agreed to adjourn the debate until July when we will push for a  vote. 

Failure to address glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible - Government must face up to its responsibilities towards older women

Senator Alice-Mary Higgins seeks special debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018

Senator Higgins said “The failure to address this glaring inequality on pensions in Budget 2018 is indefensible, particularly given Government promises on gender and equality proofing of the budget. I am calling on Pascal Donohoe to allocate additional funds to address this before the Finance and Social Welfare Bills pass through the Oireachtas. Senator Higgins has also called for a special Seanad debate on gender and equality aspects of Budget 2018, in particular the failure to address the glaring pension inequality within the contributory state pension system.