Monday, May 27, 2024

Protesters block road to Shannon Airport calling for end to usage by US military |

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People flying from Shannon Airport on Sunday afternoon were forced to leave their vehicles and walk the remaining distance to the terminal after protesters blocked the only access route.

Gardaí and Airport Police used their vehicles to take passengers and airport staff from the location of the protest on the N19 to the airport building almost 2km away.

Organisers described the demonstration as a “major national mobilisation” against the US military’s use of Shannon Airport.

Protesters mounted the action to call for an immediate end to US troops and planes passing through the airport.

Protesters gathered along both sides of the route into the airport, carrying flags and banners and chanting before moving to where Gardaí and Airport Police had gathered to monitor the event.

There, the protesters sat on the road, blocking both lanes of the route leading to the airport.

Vehicles coming to and from the airport were brought to a standstill, resulting in a backlog of traffic around the Shannon Industrail Estate.

Those scheduled to fly from the airport were forced to grab their bags and begin walking towards the terminal, with drivers leaving their vehicles in nearby car parks.

Officers also delivered passengers from the protest site to the terminal so they could make their flights.

The line of vehicles attempting to leave the airport was over a kilometre long, with drivers venting their frustrations using their car horns.

A statement from Shannon Airport posted on X, formerly Twitter, read: “Due to a protest on the N19 approach road to the airport, passengers are advised to allow extra time travelling to the airport this afternoon. Passengers may experience some delays getting to & from Shannon Airport. All flights are operating as per schedule.”

Gardaí later removed protesters from one lane of the route to allow it to be reopened to traffic.

Some demonstrators continued a sit-in on the other lane, but eventually moved, allowing traffic flow to resume as normal.

At 6.30pm on Sunday, the airport released another statement confirming: “The N19 approach road to Shannon Airport is now fully open following a protest earlier this afternoon, all traffic in the area is moving well.”

No arrests were made.

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