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Tag Archives: Iraq

From Tulla to New York to Baghdad

OVER the course of a 45 minutes conversation on a Friday afternoon, Ray Leyden stresses that he feels lucky, feels blessed, that the United States has been good to him, that he thrived in its military, that business and life on the far side of the Atlantic are going very well. He describes himself as a ‘glass half full’ type of person and that outlook has stood to Ray since he emigrated to New York as a teenager, where he built a career and life. As a young man he worked on construction sites all across the Big Apple, before joining the US military just weeks before 9/11. He would go on to see action in Iraq, being among the first US soldiers to cross the border. With distinguished service behind him, Ray would go back to college afterwards and since 2018 he has been running his own financial services company, Feninal Capital Strategies. Back in the autumn of 1994, …

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“It breaks my heart that we promote war” – Mick Wallace

TDs Mick Wallace and Clare Daly both addressed Ennis District Court on Tuesday, claiming Ireland is complicit in atrocities through its decision to allow the US military to use Shannon Airport. They criticised the lack of inspections on aircraft being used by the US military, claiming that relying on diplomatic assurances from America is hopelessly inadequate. The two are accused of climbing a perimeter fence at Shannon and entering a part of the airport to which they were not permitted on July 22 of last year. During evidence on Tuesday, both freely acknowledged that they had entered the area in question but claimed they were left with no other option due to the lack of inspections being carried out by the authorities. They said they had been told to provide some concrete evidence to justify inspections and that their attempt to get to a US aircraft on the Shannon tarmac was a response. Mr Wallace also spoke about his experiences …

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World Humanitarian Day

On World Humanitarian Day (this Tuesday), UNICEF said that the increase in humanitarian crises must not be allowed to decrease our common sense of humanity. The international children’s organisation has called for greater protection for the aid workers who risk their lives responding to emergencies like those in Gaza, South Sudan, Iraq and the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. UNICEF Ireland has also asked the public to think of the Irish heroes who dedicate their lives, often in dangerous circumstances, to work for world’s most vulnerable children. “Brave aid workers endure harsh conditions and risk harm to save lives, rebuild communities, and bear witness in conflicts, catastrophes, and crises. As emergencies from South Sudan to Gaza have increased in both frequency and complexity, so too has the dangerous nature of the work and the loss of life,” said Peter Power, executive director, UNICEF Ireland. In the last month alone: * Humanitarian workers have been killed by armed fighters in South …

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Minister Pat Breen

Breen to chair Joint Committee hearing with Gilmore

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, chaired by Clare TD Pat Breen, is to hear from Tanáiste Eamon Gilmore on this Wednesday. The meeting will consider the outcomes from Monday’s session of the Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) in Luxembourg, where the Tánaiste discussed the on-going crisis in Iraq with his counterparts. Deputy Breen said, “The deteriorating security situation in Iraq has been the source of grave concern to Committee members, particularly in view of the appalling levels of indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians. We note the Tánaiste’s call at the meeting for the Iraqi Government to take a non-sectarian, inclusive approach to curb any opportunities for extremism to thrive. The Committee will have an opportunity to consider the alarming situation with the Tánaiste in detail at tomorrow’s meeting, and the approach that European Foreign Ministers are proposing to take to stem the crisis.” Mr Breen will also meet with the new Iraqi Ambassador to Ireland, Faik Nerweyi, at which …

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