Small Hammers to stop the War

watercolour by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of hammers to attack US war planes at Shannon Airport

I’ve been painting hammers this week. Yes, small hammers that have been used in attacks on US warplanes, believe it or not…

Coincidently, the American vice-president Mike Pence was in Ireland this week, and, on arriving at Shannon Airport, he expressed his appreciation for “the security partnership” between the US and Ireland, and in particular for the use of Shannon Airport, which has become “such an important hub for US forces deploying overseas” and for the “close coordination” between the two countries in “US military operations around the world”.

Now, the last time that I looked, Ireland was still a neutral country.  In other words, we don’t take part in foreign wars – but apparently we give a warm Irish welcome to US troops “either on their way into the fight or on their way home.” (!)

But, back to the hammers. I was watching a video about the work of AFRI recently. AFRI is an NGO whose vision is of a just, peaceful and sustainable world. Its goals are the reduction of world poverty, the promotion of global justice and equality, and the progressive reduction of militarisation around the world. (Bishop Tutu of South Africa is one of their patrons).

The video was celebrating the acquittal of five members of the Pitstop Ploughshares who had “attacked” a US warplane at Shannon Airport and supposedly caused 2.5 million dollars’ worth of damage.

Yes, I know that this trial was way back in 2005/2006 but I don’t think much has changed since then. Do you?

Don’t we still need people to go out like Don Quixote and try to right wrongs? Don’t we still need knights in shining armour?  Don’t we still need our hammer enthusiasts to highlight the contradictions between state policy and practice?

I might say more about these hammers later on. They might even be featuring in an art exhibition in the National Opera House during the Wexford Opera Festival.

AFRI Video 



  1. Well said Eoin ! ; Joe Noonan, distinguished lawyer in that case, deserves great credit for methodically adducing the evidence and establishing the facts in that case, leading to an acquittal (he is in the photos in his suit and tie! ) . A quiet, learned, intelligence he has made quite a contribution to peace and conservation matters over the decades ; Pence’s remarks were an affront , as was his provocative support of the UK’s ‘Johnson’ re the backstop . Have you joined XR ? Art for Extinction Rebellion? ; – week 2 of peaceful imaginative actions begins on Oct 7 in Ireland ; all these issues interlock, as the military industrial complex grinds all life on the planet to a halt , if we acquiesce …………………Art for XR is a powerful medium for resistance , and life-affirmation ;what artists CAN do to make a difference . Wexford might not be a bad venue for that trope ? See also


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