Two US Army veterans found guilty of interfering with the operation of Shannon Airport

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Two US Army veterans have been found guilty of obstructing the operation of Shannon Airport as part of an anti-war protest three years ago.

The men, who are over 80, were cleared of trespassing with criminal intent and causing criminal damage to a perimeter fence at the airport.

Ken Mayers, 85, of Sante Fe, New Mexico, and his 80-year-old friend, Tarak Kauff, of Woodstock, New York, served in the US military before becoming anti-war activists.

At 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day 2019, they used bolt cutters to punch a hole in a perimeter fence at Shannon Airport.

When they were caught walking along a taxiway near the runway, they told a security guard they were peace protesters going to inspect US military planes.

The security breach caused the airport to be closed for 40 minutes.

At trial, they told the jury they were protesting the US military’s use of Shannon as a stopover en route to places like the Middle East.

They denied the charges of “political posturing” and said they had an “honest belief” that their actions that day could save lives.

Ultimately, they were found guilty of interfering with the “operation, security and management of an airport”, but cleared of charges of trespassing and criminal damage.

They must be condemned tomorrow.

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