Over 330,000 US troops passed through Shannon airport in 2005 - that is over 900 a day, and more than double the figure for the previous year.

Pressure on the Government to search US military planes passing through Shannon is growing. Peace activists are re-establishing a peace camp at the airport, and the issue is due to come before Clare County Council in the coming weeks.

US military aircraft have been using Shannon as a fuelling stop for the past 50 years. Commercial flights carrying US troops to European bases have also been a regular and now lucrative part of Shannon's business.

An average of 904 US troops a day passed through Shannon last year. This is estimated to be worth between €27m and €37m to the airport.

The rise in troop numbers coincides with growing pressure on the Government to have military planes passing through Shannon searched, so that our own authorities can be satisfied they are not carrying prisoners, or military weapons of war in line with the assurances given by the US government.

The issue will come before the county council because of concerns that Shannon’s international integrity is being undermined.