Irish Human Rights Bodies: Permitting Pre-Clearance to Operate in Ireland May Violate Human Rights

HR Grps 21

 Joint Statement from Irish Human Rights Organisations

Monday, 30 January 2017



President Trump’s Executive Order adopting a targeted ban on refugees and migrants from certain countries should be strongly and categorically condemned by the Irish government. This Executive Order is a barely concealed attempt to discriminate on nationality and religious grounds, itself a gross violation of freely accepted international human rights obligations. We stand in solidarity with US civil society organisations working to uphold the legal rights of all those affected by this Executive Order.

Closer to home, we express collective concern that the operation of US pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon Airports may result in individual Gardaí and immigration officials providing assistance to US pre-clearance officials’ implementing the Executive Order.

We welcome the call by the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone for an urgent review of the Irish pre-clearance agreement with the US.

We call on the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and the the Minister for Justice and Equality to take steps to immediately:

  1. Conduct an urgent review of the pre-clearance system operating in Ireland and take appropriate action, up to and including suspension of pre-clearance agreement, where there might be a reasonable chance of a person’s rights under the constitution, EU or the European Convention on Human Rights may be under threat.
  1. Provide appropriate information on the applicable law and procedures to any person refused pre-clearance on the basis of the operation of the Executive Order. Irish immigration officials should also give any person refused pre-clearance the opportunity to seek legal advice. The organisations issuing this statement stand ready to give advice and/or make appropriate referrals, to any person refused pre-clearance in Ireland on the basis of the Executive Order.
  1. Clarify the role of Gardaí and immigration officials in the US pre-clearance process to ensure that in the exercise of their public functions, a person’s rights under the Irish Constitution, European Convention on Human Rights, EU law or international human rights law will not be violated.



Brian Killoran, CEO of Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI)

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland

Edel McGinley, Director of Migrant Rights Center of Ireland (MRCI)

Eilis Barry, CEO of Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC)

Fiona Finn, CEO of Nasc, the Irish Immigrant Support Centre (Nasc)

Liam Herrick, Executive Director of Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL)

Nick Henderson, CEO of Irish Refugee Council (IRC)

Signatories are available for interview, please contact:

Caroline Reid, IRC,; Ph: 085 858 5510

Clare Herbert, Amnesty International Ireland, ; Ph: 085 814 8986

Edel McGinley, MRCI,;  Ph: 087 748 5695

Emily Glen, ICCL,; Ph: 087 998 1574.

Jennifer DeWan, NASC,; Ph: 086 085 3923

Pippa Woolnough, ICI,; Ph: 085 835 3757

Yvonne Woods, FLAC, FLAC, Ph: 01 887 3600


Irish Human Rights Bodies: Permitting Pre-Clearance to Operate in Ireland May Violate Human Rights

Wikileaks: The Significance of the 'Shannon Five'

This is the full contents of a memorandum published on the 3oth of November by wikileaks.  It concerns the actions of the ‘Shannon Five’, and the responsiveness of major world powers to democratic mobilization in Ireland. All spelling errors were in the original.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DUBLIN 001020


Classified By: Ambassador James C. Kenny; Reasons 1.4 (B) and (D).

¶1. (C) This is an action request. Please see para 10.

¶2. (C) Summary: Although supportive of continued U.S. military transits at Shannon Airport, the Irish Government has informally begun to place constraints on U.S. operations at the facility, mainly in response to public sensitivities over U.S. actions in the Middle East. Shannon remains a key transit point for U.S. troops and materiel bound for theaters in the global war on terror, while yielding diplomatic benefits for the Irish Government and significant revenues for the airport and regional economy. Segments of the Irish public, however, see the airport as a symbol of Irish complicity in perceived U.S. wrongdoing in the Gulf/Middle East and in regard to extraordinary renditions, a view that underpinned a recent jury decision to acquit the “Shannon Five” protesters who damaged a U.S. naval aircraft. The Irish Government has repeatedly defended U.S. interests in the face of public criticism, but has recently introduced more cumbersome notification requirements for equipment-related transits in the wake of the Lebanon conflict. These requirements, which entail a more expansive interpretation of munitions of war, are designed to give the Irish Government mor latitude to decide on allowable transits, accoring to a senior Department of Foreign Affairs oficial. We suspect that the Government aims with tese new constraints to dampen public criticism ahead of the 2007 general elections, and we would apreciate Department gudance on a USG response, including on any next steps regarding the Shannon Five. End summary. Continue reading “Wikileaks: The Significance of the 'Shannon Five'”

Wikileaks: The Significance of the 'Shannon Five'

The Shannon Ploughshares Action and Trials: 2003-2006

We are delighted to welcome Joe Noonan (partner in Noonan, Linehan, Carroll and Coffey,, Solicitor for the Ploughshare activists to write about the civil disobedience in Shannon and the subsequent acquittal of the activists.

Director of Public Prosecutions v Deirdre Clancy, Nuin Dunlop, Karen Fallon, Damien Moran, & Ciaron O’Reilly,

On July 25th 2006, a Jury in Dublin Circuit Criminal Court voted unanimously to acquit five people charged with criminal damage to a US military transport plane at Shannon Airport. The alleged offence had taken place on February 3rd 2003, shortly before the invasion of Iraq  by US, British and other forces.  The Defendants had pleaded that they had acted to defend life and/or property at a time when they feared the outbreak of hostilities which would have no basis in International Law. They had, they claimed, a lawful excuse. Continue reading “The Shannon Ploughshares Action and Trials: 2003-2006”

The Shannon Ploughshares Action and Trials: 2003-2006

Remembering 2001: Extraordinary Rendition

Extraordinary rendition did not start on 11 September 2001; rather the practice of transferring individuals across borders without any due process was long a part of US policy although it usually consisted of ‘rendition to trial’ (such as in the infamous case of Adolf Eichman). It was miniscule in scale, however, compared to the extraordinary rendition programme that has developed in the ‘War on Terrorism’. In this post I want to reflect on two parts of the extraordinary rendition programme that raise particularly interesting and difficult questions: the use of ‘third countries’ for over-flight and refuelling (including, it is alleged, Ireland) and the response of those countries by relying on diplomatic assurances; and the use of private companies to facilitate rendition (especially logistics and aircraft charter companies).  Both of these demand that reflect on the vulnerabilities that exist in our approaches to human rights protection. Continue reading “Remembering 2001: Extraordinary Rendition”

Remembering 2001: Extraordinary Rendition