Mick Wallace How bad that the #EU of the so called 'European Values' has supported this Terrorism against the people of #Syriahttps://t.co/wRXMSubfYi
Mick Wallace Western Colonialism never really stopped, it just got a make over - It's now called 'Financial Imperialism'. Are we… https://t.co/KoMpQ69bBw
Mick Wallace RT @wallacemick: Would mean something for Irish people and the notion of 'Irish Neutrality' if Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs @simoncov
Mick Wallace It would do something for #EU credibility if it were to acknowledge the amazing selfless role that #Cuba has played… https://t.co/I8G0EcxRxz

Foreign Affairs

Dáil Diary no 15 – 14th October 2016

Demolition of Calais Refugee Camp is a Humanitarian Disaster. Do we care?

There are reports today, Friday the 14th October, that police in full riot gear are gathering in numbers at entrances to the Jungle camp at Calais, and that they’ve brought a water cannon with them. What is going to happen to all the unaccompanied minors in the camp? The Irish Government have been complicit in forcing them to become refugees. We allowed the US Military to destroy the homes and communities of these people. And now we turn our back on them and argue that Calais is not an official camp- not an official camp? Are the unaccompanied minors official? Are they real people? Here’s my speech in the Dáil yesterday on what can only be described as a humanitarian disaster, just across the water from us…

 Mick Wallace: “There could hardly have been a more blatant demonstration of the blindness of the warmongers in this House as when the leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael were crying war crimes against Russia and the Syrian Government last week. When the US led coalition started bombing the daylights out of Syria in September 2014, Deputies had nothing to say, even though the death toll tripled almost immediately. As our trade partner Saudi Arabia, and friends, continue to do daily war crimes in Yemen, indiscriminately killing civilians with tanks, combat aircraft, air to ground missiles, white phosphorous and cluster bombs, sold to them by the United States, Deputies say nothing. The Russians followed in to Syria - about one year after the French and US involvement - in order to boost their friend Bashar al-Assad. We have never, ever defended the Russian position, but neither will we defend the United States', the French or the Saudi position in Syria. I find it nauseating that people in this House will actually select who they will criticise of those who are bombing any country. As a neutral State that does not want to take part in war we should be criticising anyone who bombs anywhere. Last week the Unites States' war in Afghanistan was 15 years old. I was at a commemoration for it in Shannon on Sunday. Ireland has been with the United States every step of the way, bending over backwards for the US war machine. A group of physicists in the United States - because the US military does not count bodies, it is all just collateral damage - have researched statistics that show that up to 2.1 million civilians have been killed by the United States military since 2001 in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is horrific and Ireland has helped the United States with the use of Shannon Airport. Today, 1,000 unaccompanied minors face eviction from Calais and we are not prepared to help them. I recall Members saying in the House that unaccompanied minors would be picked out for special concern, but we have done nothing about them. To the best of my knowledge there has been just one unaccompanied minor brought in to Ireland in the last two years.

 

Where do these unaccompanied minors come from? Only from countries the US has bombed the living daylights out of, and we allowed the US to use Shannon Airport to do so. Now we are not prepared to do anything for these people. The French have admitted they are about to clear the southern side of the camp in Calais. They cleared the northern side in the spring and 129 unaccompanied minors disappeared. I do not want to go into where we suspect they may have ended up. It is horrific. There are more than 1,000 of them in the camp and the southern side of the camp is about to be cleared by the French, despite the fact that up to eight NGOs in France are trying to take legal action to stop it. Several weeks ago, I heard the Minister state here that it was a good idea to clear the camp. It is horrific. The British have agreed to take in 300 and the French state they have capacity to cope with 276 of these minors. Can Ireland step up to the mark and do something? Can we play some sort of a role, given that we do not have clean hands because of our facilitation of Shannon Airport to the US military? I ask the Minister of State to talk to the people who make the decisions.

Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Catherine Byrne): I am taking this topical issue debate on behalf of the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality who cannot be here this afternoon. As the Tánaiste recently outlined in responses to a number of parliamentary questions on this issue, we should be clear there is no official refugee or migrant camp in Calais. Calais does not fall under the EU relocation or resettlement decisions that Ireland has opted into, and therefore the people in Calais are not eligible for the Irish refugee protection programme because they are under the jurisdiction of the French authorities and have the right to apply for international protection in France….

 

Mick Wallace:  The Minister of State said Calais is not an official camp so we cannot touch it. Well my God, most places where refugees gather are fairly unofficial. The chances of people fleeing from a place because some country like the US or Russia has bombed the living daylights out of it getting to an official camp are not always great. Travellers have often set up camp on the side of the road in Ireland and they are not always official. There have been hot spots. We are speaking about Italy, Greece and, I believe, we have even looked at Lebanon. We are cherry picking. We have gone out of our way to avoid doing what we should do. We are in denial about the fact we are partially responsible for the fact these people do not feel safe in their homes anymore.

It is mind-boggling that the EU is doing a deal with Afghanistan to return migrants in Europe to there. I met people from Afghanistan in the camps in the Calais and Dunkirk. My God, the thoughts of them having to be returned home are a cause of huge concern. They had fallen out with either ISIS or the Taliban, or a member of their family may have worked with the US forces. They would be killed if they went home. It is bad enough that Pakistan is in the process of expelling 3 million refugees back to Afghanistan and the west does not give a damn. Who invaded Afghanistan in the first place? It was the US in 2001, with our help through Shannon Airport. We destroyed the place.

God help us and save us, do not tell us Calais is an unofficial camp. So many Irish people have been there trying to help these people survive. I have text on my telephone from a fellow called Abdul. I met him out there. He is fucking dead. He died two or three weeks ago. He fell off a truck and the truck behind him ran over him. We could do something for these people if we cared. I wish the Government would just do something.”

 

Mick Wallace.

Here's a YouTube of my Speech

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxGkrZaju6o&feature=youtu.be

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Dail Diary No 6 - 32nd Dáil
 
Politicians have different ideas as to how society should be organised. If anyone should wonder why inequality in Ireland increased during the lifetime of the Fine Gael/Labour Government, why they failed to solve the Housing Crisis, and the resulting Homelessness Crisis, one need look no further than the attitude of the Minister for Foreign Affairs Charles Flanagan, to the Refugees presently living in Calais and Dunkerque.  
 
During my speech in the Dail on the issue last Thursday, When I mentioned that We had been to Calais/Dunkerque to meet the refugees, he replied - "That is the place for you". Clearly, Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs also thinks that it's the place for the refugees too. What hope for the refugees with that attitude?
 
What hope for Ireland that Fianna Fáil and some Independents are preparing to put Fine Gael back into Government ?
 
Here's my Dail speech on the issue - 

I had planned on saying something other than what I am about to say because I find it difficult not to run across the Chamber. It was upsetting listening to the Minister. He said that we needed to prevent conflicts from starting. How in God's name can he say that? He is allowing Shannon to be used as a US military airbase. We are giving permits for munitions and armed troops to pass through Ireland on the way to war fronts. How can the Minister say that we are interested in preventing conflicts from starting? That is too bad.

According to the Minister, the Turkish deal is tackling the business end of the problems and will stop the smugglers. On what planet is he living? We are feeding the smugglers. Turkey is a disaster and the deal is nonsense. Approximately ten people per week are being killed because of that deal. We are actually killing people with EU policies. We are drowning them. The Minister said that we would protect them. Five hundred people died ten days ago in one of the boats in question because of the Turkish deal. It will drive them across the Mediterranean, not stop them from coming. Closing off borders and building 30 ft. fences will not stop them. This is crazy.

Deputy Clare Daly: I would wait until the Minister finishes his conversation.

Deputy Mick Wallace:  No, he can talk away. He obviously does not listen even when he is looking at me.

An Ceann Comhairle:  Minister, I think that the Dáil-----

Deputy Clare Daly:  It is a disgrace. His conduct is despicable and shocking.

An Ceann Comhairle:  Deputy Wallace, please proceed.

Deputy Mick Wallace:  As the Minister knows, we were in Calais and Dunkirk two weeks ago.

Deputy Charles Flanagan:  That is the place for you.

Deputy Mick Wallace:  The smugglers there are the only people who are doing well. And they are doing really well. They are making more money now than they were six months ago because it has become more difficult to get in. Most people will get into Britain anyway. They just have to pay. Families are paying £20,000 to get to Britain from Dunkirk and Calais. As to where in God's name they are getting the money from, their cousins and other relations back home begged, borrowed and stole to get it. God help them if they believe that they will be in the promised land when they get to Britain or Ireland, but that is neither here nor there. The smugglers are making a fortune. They have doubled their fees lately. The minimum for an individual is £8,000. Most children are still chancing their arms on trucks. They try to jump up between the cab and the trailer in the middle of the night while it is still moving to get onto the roof or into the back. People are dying doing this.

We met so many young people, it was not funny. It is bad. We met many Irish people there working as volunteers who really cared. We met a man called Dylan Longman and another called Dave in Dunkirk. They have given up their lives to try to help people. Karen Moynihan, Sinead, Barbara and Fintan were in Calais. Many Irish families would like to help.

We were invited to dinner in a makeshift cabin in Calais by a man called Khan. Nine men, all from Afghanistan, were there. A couple of them told their stories, but most said that they could not because they were too upsetting. The youngest was 14 years of age, but the average age was 16 or 17. These are children. Could we do something just for minors? Could Ireland become a champion of refugee minors? Could we go to Calais and Dunkirk, process some of these people and see whether we could take them in? It would not cost the State a penny. Irish families are prepared to take them in. I promise to take one in myself.

I met a child of 15 years. He lost all of his family - his brothers, sisters, mother and father - on the Iran-Afghan border. He is 15, and he would like to come to Ireland or Britain. We have often argued in the Chamber that Ireland has great potential to play a positive role in world events as a neutral country, but we have been silent and complicit in the role played by the US, France and Britain in the militarisation of the planet. The Minister said that we wanted to address the causes, but we are quiet about Palestine and the genocide that Israel is trying to carry out there.

Someone from the Government should go to Calais - maybe someone has - and Dunkirk to see what is happening. The Afghans told us about a man who had to leave Afghanistan because one of his family members had worked with the US army, so the Taliban was after them. He spent six months in Calais, but could not take it anymore mentally. He turned himself in to the French authorities and they sent him back to Afghanistan. He was dead within two weeks. Afghanistan is controlled 50% by the Taliban and 50% by ISIS. Its Government is a sideshow. It is not a country to which people should be returned.

Calais is dominated by Afghans and Dunkirk mostly comprises Kurds. I would love to see people from those two nations welcomed in Ireland. The people whom we met were such good people. They are not looking for a free ride in any form. They would like to work and make new lives in Ireland where they would not be afraid of being killed. They are not terrorists. They are running from ISIS and the Taliban.

There is the potential for Ireland to take a different approach. We can do things differently. We can show that we care. I believe that most Irish people do, but the Government's approach has, sadly, been abysmal. I plead with it to send representatives to Dunkirk and Calais and set up a process whereby individuals can be screened, even if they are all under 18 years of age. Let us take minors. We cannot go wrong with that. The Government will find Irish families that are prepared to taken them in. They will not be a burden on the State. They will not have to go through the difficult direct provision process, which I had planned on discussing but will not now.

We are blessed in Ireland with opportunities. We are not afraid of bombs falling on us at night while we sleep. Generally speaking, we are not worried about where we will find our next bite of food; we are not dying of hunger. We seem to forget that these are not even economic migrants, which all of the Irish who left Ireland were. There are millions of Irish people all over the planet. Imagine if they were as unwelcome as the Afghans, Kurds and Syrians are in Ireland.

Please, let us consider this matter again.”

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Press Statement

February 23rd 2015

Daly and Wallace in Ennis District Court tomorrow.


TD’s Clare Daly and Mick Wallace will appear in Ennis District Court tomorrow, Tuesday 24th February at 10.30am, in relation to their attempt to inspect US Military Aircraft at Shannon Airport in July 2014. For too many years, successive Irish Governments have ignored the Irish people’s desire for Neutrality, refused to honour International Law, refused to reveal the truth of the US War machine’s use of Shannon – instead they have engaged in deception, secrecy and lies. It’s time for the Irish Government to put an end to our complicity in US Military war crimes. A number of witnesses will be called tomorrow, of National and International standing. Clare Daly will be represented by Gareth Noble of KOD Lyons, Human Rights Law firm, while Mick Wallace will represent himself in contesting the charges. Here’s a copy of the Shannonwatch statement, released earlier today-

Shannonwatch are urging their supporters to come to Ennis District Court on Tuesday February 24th to support TDs Clare Daly and Mick Wallace who attempted to inspect a US military plane at Shannon last July. Their alleged offence is illegal entrance into a restricted area of the airport, and their action was in response to the failure of the authorities to inspect US aircraft at Shannon.

“Shannonwatch have repeatedly called for an end to the US military use of Shannon. They also call for inspection of all military and suspected CIA aircraft at the airport for as long as they are being allowed to pass through.

Clare Daly and Mick Wallace have made it clear that as legislators and as citizens they have a responsibility to uphold Irish neutrality. They have made every attempt inside the Dáil to highlight Ireland's complicity in war at Shannon, but the government has refused to allow the Gardai to inspect US military aircraft.

Mick Wallace said: "Over the last two and a half years we have gone to great efforts to raise this issue in the Dáil. Former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and former Minister for Justice Alan Shatter repeatedly said to us to produce the evidence, and that is what we have attempted to do."

"It is pretty clear to most people that the use of Shannon by the US military who are engaged in several wars, who occupy sovereign states illegally and commit war crimes, is something that this State needs to put a stop to because this has gone on for far too long" he added.

Clare Daly said "We believe that there is very definitive evidence to say that our airport is being used to facilitate the US war machine and we don't believe that it is something in the interests of the Irish people. We will be rigorously defending this. We don't believe that we did anything wrong at Shannon. We actually believe that we were doing what we should be doing".

John Lannon of Shannonwatch said "Mick Wallace and Clare Daly were doing the Irish people and indeed the people of the Middle East and other parts of the world a great service by doing what they did. They have gone in search of the evidence that the government and the Gardai insist they need but will not look for themselves. The two TDs have highlighted the ongoing serious nature of Irish support for the US war machine to the people of Ireland, and have put pressure on the government to ensure they live up to their responsibilities under national and international law".

For more information email mick.wallace@oir.ie or clare.daly@oir.ie or phone 01-618-3390 or 086-19-15-122

ENDS

 

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