Court Trial Begins for Peace Action at Shannon Airport

January 15th, 2023 - by Ed Horgan / World BEYOND War

Day 2: January 12th  Trial of Peace Activists Dan Dowling and Edward Horgan

Ed Horgan / World BEYOND War

DUBLIN (January 13, 2023) — Yesterday’s legal discussions concerned the failure of the prosecution to produce the pilot of the aircraft that was allegedly damaged, even though his statement of evidence was included in the book of evidence.

This and other such matters with regard to the prosecution evidence are likely to be ongoing issues in this case. The correct name for the Prosecution Barrister is Jane McCudden (not Cudden).

The defence case made further progress today at the Dublin Circuit Court with a number of witnesses for prosecution on the stand including a mapping expert from the section. The maps he produced of Shannon airport were not to the liking of the two defendants and they made this known in their cross-examinations.

He was followed by another expert witness from the Garda crime scene unit at Ennis, Co Clare, who seemed to have been unable to establish the exact wording of the alleged graffiti that was on the alleged US Navy Aircraft at Shannon Airport on 25th April 2007. There seems to be some significant differences between prosecution witnesses as to whether the aircraft in question was US Navy, or US air force.

Since it was just normal looking Boeing 737 aircraft like most of the Ryanair fleet, with no markings except the four numbers 5829 on its tail, the confusion is understandable. The Irish Defence Forces Sergeant (now retired) who was in charge of the army detachment at Shannon on the night was the next witness.

This is an important witness as his evidence and cross-examination took up quite a bit of time in the afternoon and some discussions in the absence of the jury. These discussions involved whether a Shannon airport security thermal CCTV video should be played to the court including to this witness and to the jury.

The prosecution had decided not to use this video for their side of the case presumably because they reckoned it would not benefit the prosecution case, and for the same reasons the defence were quite keen to have the video played as it is likely to be advantageous to the defence.

After quite a bit of discussion Judge Martina Baxter ruled that the video should be played. This will most likely occur tomorrow morning.