‘Hammered by the Irish’


"We come to Shannon Airport to carry out an act of life-affirming disarmament in a place of preparations for slaughter."

On a damp night in February 2003, as the U.S. prepared to invade Iraq, five Catholic Worker activists scrambled across runways and broke into a hangar at Shannon Airport. Swinging hammers and a pickaxe, they did more than $2.5 million damage to a U.S. Navy transport plane.

The five were hit with the full weight of the law, and were quickly condemned by the media and much of the anti-war movement. But three-and-a-half years later a Dublin jury decided they were innocent of any crime. This is the story of how a civilian airport in the west of Ireland became a "Pitstop of Death," and how an act of conscience touched the hearts and minds of twelve jurors, making political and legal history, in an epic of popular resistance.

Includes an introduction by Daniel Berrigan, co-founder of the Ploughshares movement in 1980.

Harry Browne is a journalism lecturer at the Dublin Institute of Technology. He was employed at The Irish Times for twelve years and has contributed to the Evening Herald, the Sunday Tribune, Sunday Business Post, and The Dubliner.

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