MEPs write to Minister Shatter demanding Margaretta D’Arcy’s release


On my initiative, 15 MEPs from 8 different countries have written to Minister of Justice Alan Shatter TD calling on him to release anti war campaigner, Margaretta D’Arcy who is imprisoned in Limerick Prison for her protests against the use of Shannon Airport by the US military.
My colleagues from the European United Left (GUE/NGL) where shocked to hear that the Irish government had imprisoned a 79 year peace activist, who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.
The utter hypocrisy of the Irish government, who are happy to jail Margaretta while refusing to inspect US military planes, is clear for all to see.
The government have it within their power to allow a Presidential pardon, Margaretta should not be in prison and this pardon should be immediately permitted. The Labour Party while in opposition made much of being against the use of Shannon by the US military. The ongoing detention of Margaretta D’Arcy seriously calls into question Labour’s anti war credentials. I call on them to release her immediately.
Protest at the Dáil on Wednesday calling for the release of Margaretta D’Arcy
Protest at the Dáil on Wednesday calling for the release of Margaretta D’Arcy
It is important that pressure is kept up on the government. I applaud those who are campaigning for her release and urge people to continue the protests and keep highlighting her case.”
Copy of letter below.
Mr Alan Shatter TD
Minister of Justice and Equality
94 St Stephen’s Green
Dublin 2
24 January 2014
Re: The detention of peace activist Margaretta D’Arcy
Dear Minister,
We are writing to you as Members of the European Parliament regarding the sentencing of anti-war activist and well known writer from Galway, Margaretta D’Arcy, to three months in prison by the Ennis District Court in December 2013.
Margaretta D’Arcy was imprisoned on charges related to her peaceful protest against the use of Shannon Airport by the US military and her refusal to commit not to stay away from so-called ‘unauthorized zones’ at Shannon airport. We believe her actions were justified in that they have served to highlight the crimes of the US Military and complicity of the Irish government despite its supposed “neutrality”.
We have also been informed that she is currently receiving treatment for cancer. Given the circumstances and the humanitarian concerns, we think it entirely inappropriate for her to be incarcerated. We believe therefore Ms D’Arcy should be granted a Presidential Pardon under Section 7 of the Criminal Procedure Act 1993 or her sentence be commuted or remitted.
We would ask you to respond to our concerns.
Yours sincerely,
Paul Murphy MEP (Ireland)
Nikolaos Chountis MEP (Greece)
Cornelia Ernst MEP (Germany)
Sabine Lösing MEP (Germany)
Marisa Matias MEP (Portugal)
Willy Meyer MEP (Spain)
Helmut Scholz MEP (Germany)
Søren Søndergaard MEP (Denmark)
Alda Sousa MEP (Portugal)
Marie-Christine Vergiat MEP (France)
Nikola Vuljanić MEP (Croatia)
Sabine Wils MEP (Germany)
Gabi Zimmer MEP (Germany)

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