Shannon airport has a strategeic importance as a fuelling stop on the North Atlantic route.

In August 1990 six civilian flights carrying United States service men on their way to the Gulf landed at Shannon with government approval. The Department of Defence claims that there have been no other landings.

There are growing fears that in the event of full scale hostilities, Shannon will become a strategically important airport for troops and even war materials on their way to the Gulf.

As protesters voiced their opposition to the use of Shannon as a stop-over, the Department of Defence said that any request for landing permissions would be carefully considered.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 14 January 1991. The reporter is Michael Lally.