Article by Shaun McGee and Jimmy Hagan
This is an Interview with 82 yr young, Margaretta D`Arcy the well known Irish peace activist. On asking her about the 1916 Independence proclamation she said;
You want me to talk about 1916 and since then It`s been downhill all the way
In the podcast we discuss the early negotiations of of the Anglo Irish Treaty which was ratified in 1922. She mentions that the UK position on hanging on to some of Ireland’s land mass was prevalent in the countries seeking Independence throughout the crumbling Empire (Indian Independence movements worked closely with the Irish Independence movement around this time).
She went on to say that Northern Ireland is a member of NATO (unlike the republic of Ireland) and that NATO is a part of the military industrial complex.
Turning to the situation in Ireland she mentions that Ireland has an arms industry worth some 23 billion euros and that we sell arms and military technology to Saudi Arabia, Israel, UK, Russia, France, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the USA. She then ties in the EU and NATO agreements that show Irish neutrality is at risk. She also connects the refugee crisis to NATO operations and poverty around the world.
Under the Lisbon treaty, Ireland is used for testing weapons.
and went on to say that
we need to end the Lisbon Treaty.
Oddly enough she pointed out that the arms coming through Shannon Airport have been manufactured using Irish Technology.
US Apache helicopters, used in Isreal to kill Palestinians – Their key components are made in Ireland by a US corporation based in Cork
The universities of Cork, Limerick and Trinity College Dublin are all linked to military research and Irish academics have collaborated with European Union projects with Israel, she said and that 1916 was supposed to be an anti imperialist war?
What is shocking in this country is that very little information is getting out and it is one of the counties dirty little secrets
She wondered how much of tax payers money was being used to by the Irish Development Fund (IDA) to fund these companies?
We need to look again at the Anglo-Irish agreement because of Shannon and debate in the Dial (Irish Government parliament)
On the US and UK powers over the Irish people and state she went on to say there is ;
No such thing as freedom from imperialism.
Margaretta then went into some detail about the role she plays and how she was termed the Guantanamo Granny by the Irish Press.
Talking about her court strategies she refers to the court as a play house and her being both the playwright and actor. I recommend you listen to the podcast of this interview for details.
At one point in the interview she recounts that Mike Wallis and Clare Daly (Irish politicians) had come to a court case to offer moral support and that the judge was star struck and interrupted proceedings, inviting Clare and Mick to make statements. The podcast has the details of this in her own words.
One quote she said from the interview about this was ;
This was so bizarre!
and referring to the court as a stage. she said that;
the judge wanted to be the star.
And on another occasion she offered a summons to a court staff member, when she was next in court she noticed the person and said;
I am surprised that you are sitting beside the judge as I thought you would be sitting here beside me
she said chuckling merrily as she recalled the incident.
She talked about the abysmal conditions in Irish Jails and said that women were treated worse than men both in rehabilitation and conditions
On another occasion she brought many children and their mothers and the judge fled the court. She was dressed in orange overalls and that is what triggered the term Guantanamo Granny (the name of her new book that is being promoted next week in a whirlwind tour of the Uk and Ireland.) For information on how to get the book please visit Margaretta’s Facebook page by following this link.
On water charges she mentioned that 21 people were going to court for non payment after the upcoming
election, soon to be followed by another 2 million (approx). To this she said she was concerned as to how the government would set up internment camps for all that lot.
De Valera (the prime minister of Ireland ) set up internment camps for the IRA
to this she said that the present government is so weak that they will not be able to anything. She said that Clare Daly and Mick Wallace were a good example of how the government was afraid of imprisoning people as it would strengthen resistance (The media are attacking Mick and Clare with innuendo and smears instead). On the issue of her long sentence as opposed to Mick and Clares we asked her if she felt hard done by? Her response
No I am delighted!
and then she went onto say that Sr Megan Rice Ploughshares movement against nuclear weapons who spent 2 years recently for painting a wall on a high security building in a nuclear weapons complex in the USA) and herself would prefer the long prison sentences and that she hoped that other good citizens would follow in their footsteps. She mentioned that the Ploughshares movement from the USA were a great inspiration for her.
She recounted her time at Greenham Common nuclear airbase for some 19 years in the UK and the fun at the court houses.
Petitions Committee Report Fails to Reflect Seriousness of Shannonwatch Submission
Over 3 years ago Shannonwatch submitted a Petition to the The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions on the issue of US Military and CIA use of Shannon airport. The wheels of government work slowly, and the Committee issued its final report today. The full report can be viewed