Brian Whelan

Jury Frees Anti-War Saboteurs


Five peace activists have been acquitted of all charges in relation to their disarming of a US navy plane at Shannon airport in February 2003. The five, calling themselves the Pitstop Ploughshares, used axes and lump hammers to inflict over $2.5m worth of damage in what they described as a “non-violent ploughshares action”. In June they received a unanimous acquittal by using Section 6 of the Criminal Damage Act 1991 which allows for a “lawful excuse” where the damage is caused “in order to protect another or property belonging to another.” They say they were acting in defence of civilian life in Iraq, the local infrastructure, the lives of US soldiers and of Irish people who may become targets of a terrorist attack as a result of Irish complicity in the war.

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