Coveney Hits Out At Claims US Use Of Shannon Undermines Ireland’s Neutrality

Photo © Pat Flynn

The Tánaiste has hit out at claims that foreign military landing at Shannon Airport undermines Ireland’s neutral stance.

It follows concerns raised over US Vice President Mike Pence addressing American troops at Shannon nearly two weeks ago.

The Seanad has heard claims that Shannon is becoming a ‘military airport’.


An address given to US troops by Vice President Mike Pence at Shannon Airport led to criticisms from those who have long since campaigned against its use by the American military.

Those concerns were repeated in the Seanad yesterday, by Sinn Féin’s Paul Gavan.

The Upper House heard that in the first six months of 2017, 427 permits were approved for military contracted planes to stop off at Shannon and fly through Irish airspace en route to countries including Kuwait, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Senator Gavan had this to say.

Simon Coveney hit out at the insinuation that Ireland’s neutrality is being undermined.

The Tánaiste stressed that requests for flights landing into Shannon are only granted when they adhere to conditions, and that these must be in line with a range of guidelines.

Mr Coveney said it’s standard international practice to allow this to happen, while he also insisted that he saw nothing wrong with Mr. Pence being able to address his country’s troops.