Australian peace activist Ciaron O'Reilly is awaiting his third trial in Dublin in July, on charges arising from the disabling of a US warplane en route to Iraq at Shannon Airport in February 2003. He is one of five activists charged, the other four being Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon and Damien Moran.
While in Cork attending the premiere of their film The Wind that Shakes the Barley, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, director Ken Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty expressed their support for O'Reilly and his four co-defendants. When asked about his view of the role of the Shannon Airport in the Iraq war, Loach stated, "we are all implicated, Britain by having troops there, Ireland by providing facilities for warplanes and personnel at Shannon".
Laverty said: "I've always wondered what damage a 10-pound hammer would do to the delicate instruments of a plane, apart from the odd dent, it must complicate the circuitry.
"I've seen the effect of a thousand-pound bomb on a little girl in Iraq who wore a lilac dress. She was on the front page of a Spanish newspaper, El Mundo. Her traumatised father pulled her from the rubble. Her right leg dangled behind the knee from two stubborn sinews. No doubt she died in agony, along with another 100,000 civilians — according to the Lancet report, in the first 18 months of the war.
"And yet, to wield a hammer to a war-plane carries a sentence of ten years in an Irish prison. To drop a thousand-pound bomb on civilians carries no consequences at all.
"For every blow of that hammer to the blunt nose of an inanimate object, a thousand delicate complex individuals were blown to bits by Western bombs.
"I'd like to thank Deirdre, Nuin, Karen, Ciaron and Damien for engaging our imagination and reminding us of alternative uses for ordinary household items.
"Just think what we could do with a toilet brush ..."
From Green Left Weekly, July 5, 2006.
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