Shannon still used by rendition planes

Village, 13 April 2006

A shell company recently exposed by Amnesty International as a company linked to rendition flights on behalf of the CIA, bringing people to be tortured, continues to use Shannon as a stop-over. Colin Murphy reports.

Aircraft associated with the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are continuing to use Shannon airport as a stop-over.

On the night of 31 March, a private jet operated by a shell company linked to the CIA landed at Shannon, and was seen there by anti-war plane-spotters.

"It is, and ever will be, a constant battle"

This is the second half of a two-part interview. The first part is here. By Colin Murphy.

Gareth Peirce has been fighting for the rights of prisoners and the wrongfully accused since the mid 1970s, representing Judith Ward, the Birmingham Six and the Guildford Four, amongst many others. Though her successes ultimately lead to a measure of legal celebrity (which she disavows), for many years the outlook was bleak. What sustained her?

“Torture is a universal crime to which there’s no defence"

Twenty years ago, on 14 March 1991, the Birmingham Six were released. Colin Murphy interviews the woman who helped free them, Gareth Peirce. This interview was originally published in the Law Society Gazette, and is re-published here in two parts.

In London some years ago, an Egyptian dissident found himself threatened with deportation to his home country. There, he had agitated against the now-discredited Mubarak regime, and been tortured for his troubles. He had sought asylum in the UK, but had been detained.

My body politic - part three

The final part of our interview with Seanad candidate Rosaleen McDonagh. By Colin Murphy.

Rosaleen McDonagh in her own words:

On being a Traveller:

"I just love it. Everything I read, everything I write, every bit of music I hear – I project my Traveller identity onto that. I love the Traveller accent. When I go away I have to ring my family just to hear that heavy Traveller accent. I'd walk the earth to find it."

On racism:

My body politic - part two

The second part of Politico's interview with Seanad candidate Rosaleen McDonagh. By Colin Murphy.

Rosaleen McDonagh's signature issue is the recognition of Travellers as a distinct ethnic group. She falters when talking about this. "It's very emotional for me."

She justifies such recognition, at first, in terms of its ends: "It would change our status; it would recognise all the wrong doings against Travellers; we would be afforded affirmative action programmes in education, employment, and accommodation."

My body politic

Colin Murphy interviews Seanad candidate, Traveller activist and playwright Rosaleen McDonagh

"I'm a posh pavee," says Rosaleen McDonagh, "a good little Traveller."

Rosaleen McDonagh is a playwright. She has three degrees. She also has cerebral palsy, uses a wheelchair, and has a speech impediment. And she is running for election to the Seanad.

"My disability is a camouflage for my Traveller identity. If I was a different sort of Traveller woman, without a disability, I'd be less amenable to settled people."