Jailed anti-war campaigner vows to continue protest against US military use of Shannon


A 79-year-old anti-war activist has vowed to continue her protests against American military planes landing at Shannon Airport – even as she prepares to be transferred to Dublin’s Mountjoy Prison.
Margaretta D’Arcy has made the vow despite suffering from cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
She is to be moved from Limerick Prison to Mountjoy after refusing to sign a bond which would have granted her release.
D’Arcy has told supporters that she is determined to carry on her protest as long as Shannon Airport continues to be used as a hub for the US military.
The 79-year-old veteran anti-war activist, writer, film-maker, and feminist is to be moved in order to have more ‘comfortable’ surroundings given her age reports the Galway Advertiser.
Sabina Higgins, the wife of Irish president Michael D Higgins, was criticized last week when she made a private visit to see D’Arcy in prison.
The report says that D’Arcy has told supporters that she is less interested in the campaign to ‘Free Margaretta’ and wants all efforts to be concentrated on ending the US Military’s use of Shannon airport.
She was jailed for illegally accessing a runway at Shannon Airport last year during a protest against the US Military.
D’Arcy has since refused to sign a bond pledging to keep away from the Airport. This refusal led to the activation of her three-month suspended sentence.
Speaking in court, she asked the judge to throw the case out and said the country couldn’t afford such a hearing.
Galway Alliance Against War spokesman Niall Farrell has visited D’Arcy in prison.
He told the paper: “She is doing fine and remains determined. Margaretta is standing on a point of principle.
“She has no difficulty in signing a bond to ‘keep the peace’, but will not sign one containing references to Shannon. For her that is a contradiction, with US military going through there and the airport being used as a hub to transport soldiers to America’s wars in the Middle East.
“While people are saying ‘Free Margaretta’, she is saying “Free Shannon from the US army.’”
Farrell said D’Arcy was heartened by the visit of the President’s wife.
He added: “The fact that Sabina visited her is very important for the peace movement.
“To those critical of her, I say some two million people have been killed in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and that is what should be objected to rather than worrying about a woman visiting her friend.”