Military plane landed at Shannon Airport without seeking permission

Minister says officials have contacted British authorities

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Email:

david.hurley@limerickleader.ie

Military plane landed at Shannon Airport without seeking permission

The RAF plane landed at Shannon Airport on December 29

A COMMUNICATIONS breakdown is being blamed for an RAF military transport plane landing at Shannon Airport without seeking permission last month.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, has confirmed he has instructed his officials to raise the matter with the UK authorities.

He was responding to a query from Deputy Clare Daly who aked why the Hercules C-130J transport plane landed at Shannon Airport on December 29 last.

“In this instance, permission to land was not sought in advance from my department. In response to a request for clarification from my officials, the British Embassy has explained that this was due to a communication breakdown,” he said.

“The Embassy has confirmed in writing that the purpose of the landing was refuelling, and that the flight was unarmed; carried no arms, ammunition or explosives; and was not engaged in intelligence-gathering nor formed part of a military exercise or operation,” he added.

Minister Flanagan says the Government views any breaches of the established procedures with the utmost seriousness.

Ms Daly has described the revelations as “utterly shocking” and a “total affront” to Ireland’s sovereignty.