Will Shannon Airport be used to transfer US Cluster Bombs

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An historic treaty banning one of the world's deadliest weapons, cluster bombs, was agreed in Dublin on 28th May 2008 when diplomats and officials from 109 countries who gathered at a conference at Croke Park agreed a treaty which bans their use.

The deal was seen as a massive coup for Irish diplomacy and particularly for the then Foreign Affairs Minister Dermot Ahern, who supported this Dublin event. His successor Micheal Martin stated, "This deal will give my colleagues in Government a great sense of fulfillment."

The United States of America has now declared its intention to send its illegal stockpile of cluster bombs to Ukraine, as part of the continuing escalation of the various types of weapons being used in this war. The UK and US have already agreed to supply them with depleted uranium shells and let’s not forget that Serbia/Kosovo is still suffering their effects today following the 1999 NATO led bombardment here.

Edward Horgan who attended the Shannonwatch monthly vigil at Shannon Airport today stated, “there is a very real possibility that these illegal cluster bombs will be transferred through Shannon Airport on their way to Ukraine. As up to now US military planes continue to refuel here on their way to their military bases in Poland and Germany. Successive Irish Governments have refused to search these planes so we will never know what weapons are on board. However, in the case of these vicious and illegal weapons the Government could be found guilty of collaborating and supporting their transfer by refusing to search US military planes.”

“Amnesty International has long stressed that cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate weapons which have caused untold harm to civilians across the world – in some cases decades after conflicts have ended. Russia’s war of aggression has brought profound suffering to the people of Ukraine. It is the humanitarian considerations, and concern for civilians in countries torn by war and its aftermath – which has driven 111 states, including many of Ukraine’s allies, to ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions and ban the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of such weapons.” (View recent statement below)

Roger Cole of PANA and Edward Horgan of Shannonwatch now call upon Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin not to destroy the great legacy of his colleague Dermot Ahern. He should commence searching US military planes or aircraft on contract to the US military landing at Shannon Airport immediately.

To confirm this joint Press Release contact:
Tom Crilly, Communications Officer, PANA,

Ed Horgan,

Roger Cole,
Chair, Peace & Neutrality Alliance, PANA,

For more information:

Cluster bombs ban clinched in historic Dublin-led treaty by Ciaran Byrne 29/5/2008.


Ireland signs convention banning cluster bombs…3/12/2008.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern today signed a convention banning the use of cluster munitions on behalf of Ireland at a ratification…


Ukraine: US transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine undermines international efforts to safeguard civilians from indiscriminate weapons… Amnesty International has long stressed that cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate weapons which have caused untold harm to civilians across the world – in some cases decades after conflicts have ended. 7/7/2023




Carol Fox delivered this fantastic speech at a ‘People’s Forum on Ireland’s Neutrality’ in Liberty Hall Dublin on the 19/6/2023 before the government’s ‘Consultative Forum on International Security Policy’ began in Cork, Galway, and Dublin.


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