TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace have vowed not to pay €2,000 fines imposed on them at Ennis District Court this evening, after Judge Patrick Durcan found them guilty of offences at Shannon Airport last summer.
Asked is she would pay the monies Deputy Daly replied “absolutely not” while the Wexford man replied “You know what, I wouldn’t pay that fine to save my life.” They also say they will not appeal the convictions.
The TDs faced charges of climbing a perimeter fence at Shannon Airport and entering a part of the airport to which they were not permitted on July 22 of last year, contrary to the Airport Byelaws of 1994.
Ms Daly said that the two TDs will continue to be active in the campaign against the US military use of Shannon. “Of course we will, yeah. We will absolutely continue in this and we have not intention of paying a financial contribution to a State that allow this behaviour to continue. We stand by Shannonwatch, we stand by the people who promote peace and neutrality in Ireland as do most Irish citizens. That’s our job as legislators and we’re proud to do it.”
In delivering his judgement, Judge Patrick Durcan said that penalties of a fine not exceeding €1,269 or six months in prison could be imposed on each of the two charges both defendants faced.
After summarising the evidence given in previous sittings, he said the defendants were alleging they had been “obstructed, sidetracked and ignored” in relation to their objections regarding the use of Shannon.
He said that while the Constitution allows the right to assembly peacefully and without arms, and the right to protest, he added that “the exercise of that right is not unfettered”.
Judge Durcan said it was the role of the Court to consider relevant evidence fairly and impartially and that the courts shouldn’t be used as “battlefields” by protagonists who should use other forums.
He said that he was satisfied that the two TDs had breached the relevant legislation and he convicted them of the charges.
Fines of €1,000 on each of the two charges that both defendants faced were imposed, while he also fixed recognisances in the event of an appeal by the defendants.