Correction and apology
The article below makes reference to Chelsea Manning passing through Ireland’s Shannon airport en route to Iraq.
We now know from direct communication with Chelsea that this was not the case and that she did not pass through Shannon airport at any time, although nearly 2.5 million other US soldiers have done so. The use of Shannon by the US military is an ongoing and contentious issue in Ireland.
The information apparently came from a member of Manning’s Unit and was passed onto us in good faith by a trusted source. We apologise for this error and any confusion it has caused.
PMFF, May 2015
We were in Dublin from 27-30 November with Welsh members of Chelsea Manning’s family, enjoying warm and enthusiastic Irish hospitality from AFRI and many others during three days of solidarity events, meetings, meals and media interviews. There are Irish connections on both sides of Chelsea’s family: maternal grandfather from Rathmines, Dublin and one set of paternal great grandparents (both Mannings) also from Ireland with connections to the village of Anascaul in Kerry. Chelsea was flown out to Iraq via Shannon airport, the use of which by the US military compromises Ireland’s supposed neutrality. There will be more to report back later, but for now here are a few photos from the visit and some links to other reports and news items.
Saturday night at the Brian Boru
An evening of informal solidarity for the family
Joe, Robbie, Carmen, Mairtín and others share their music
Friday night at Trinity College
Chelsea’s mum Susan Manning speaking with Gerry Conlon
Human Rights Lawyer Gareth Peirce‘s video address to the meeting
Carmen and Ciaron outside Trinity College promoting Friday’s meeting
Ciaron speaking at Temple Bar Friday afternoon
Meeting TDs at the Dáil on Thursday
Family members Susan Manning, Kevin Fox, Mary Murray and Sharon Staples meet TDs Catherine Murphy and Katherine Zappone
Susan and Ciaron with the ball signed by Julian Assange
Meeting with Amnesty Ireland on Thursday
Susan Manning is presented with a human rights award for Chelsea from local schoolchildren
A letter from a young Dublin supporter
Joe Murray of AFRI, who co-ordinated the visit, and his wife Mary-Lou with the family
Last photo with the family before their departure early Sunday morning
Other reports including mainstream media
We’re Proud of What Chelsea’s Done. Interview with John Healy of Newstalk Radio’s Lunchtime show.
Gender transition was a shock but we support her. Interview with Michelle Hennessy of online news service The Journal (Incorrect captioning of picture – Mary is Mary Murray, not Mary Fox).
Family of Chelsea Manning lobby TDs for her early release. Interview with Peter Murtagh of the Irish Times.
Manning’s Family Plead for Support. Article in independent.ie.
Family of Chelsea Manning Hoping to Connect with Irish Relatives. Report in The Journal.
Meanwhile, in the Edmund Burke Theatre on Broadsheet.
Whistleblower’s Family Lobbying on His Behalf in Dublin. RTE TV news item.
Manning’s aunt and uncle speak on RTE’s Drivetime radio show (listen from 58:30).
An informal interview with Ruairí McKiernan on facebook (content pasted below for those who don’t use fb)
Ruairí McKiernan’s report
Listen to the interview with the family
I’m humbled and inspired. I’m just back from meeting and interviewing Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning’s mother and family. I’d been thinking for a long time about what Manning did and why she is being persecuted by the U.S government and ignored by others. What she did, as a young U.S soldier, was expose war crimes on innocent people in Iraq and is therefore a hero to many. Ask yourself, what would you do?
(Watch the video Manning leaked here but be warned).
As her mother told me, Chelsea’s ‘crime’ was to tell the truth and the family are all proud of that. Chelsea was bullied and isolated all her life and that continues to this day. They can’t understand why she is not given a medal whilst the guilty parties continue in their jobs. I was really moved by meeting them. Nice gentle people who have suffered greatly and received little support.
Hopefully the people of Ireland will support them now starting with their evening in Trinity College Dublin tomorrow evening in the Edmund Burke Theatre at 7pm and/or by contributing via manningfamilyfund.org and by writing letters to Chelsea or finding out more at privatemanning.org.
More photos from Saturday night, these by Dave Donnellan.