Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, Seán Crowe TD, has expressed his concern for the safety of passengers in Shannon Airport after a fire broke out on a plane carrying US soldiers this morning. Flight operations at Shannon Airport are temporarily suspended as a result, causing significant delays during one of its busiest months.

Deputy Seán Crowe TD:

“Air traffic controllers noticed a fire and smoke coming from a plane transporting US soldiers as it was taxing along the runway in Shannon Airport this morning.

“The plane was evacuated, and airport fire crews responded to the incident and extinguished the fire. Thankfully nobody was hurt or injured in this serious incident.

“According to reports the fire happened on a passenger plane but the Irish government also allows US military planes stocked with armaments to use Shannon Airport. If such a fire broke out on one of these planes it could have serious and fatal consequences.

“Shannon Airport is a civilian airport but the Irish government have effectively turned it into a forward base of the US military. This is a complete violation of Irish neutrality, but it also poses a severe risk to the health and safety hundreds of thousands of Irish and foreign passengers that use the airport.

“We must end this violation of Irish neutrality and restore Shannon Airport as a civilian airport.”