USS Donald Cook weapon

U.S. naval machine gun crew at the ready on board USS Donald Cook at Cobh quay this afternoon

The Workers’ Party has condemned the presence of armed machine-gunners onboard a US warship docked at Cobh today.

Workers’ Party Cork Councillor Ted Tynan said the presence of the destroyer is a flagrant breach of Irish neutrality but the action-ready machine gun crew on the ship’s deck is an even bigger affront.

Two machine-gunners with ear defenders and other equipment have been observed aiming the weapon and ready to use it

Cllr. Tynan pointed out that this vessel, USS Donald Cook, is the ship that fired the first Tomahawk cruise missile in Iraq during “Operation Shock & Awe” in 2003 causing many deaths.

“Ireland is either a neutral country or not.  There is no middle position.  Our government still keep up the pretence of neutrality but their actions in allowing vessels such as this to dock here – with weapons at the ready – and the ongoing US military stopover at Shannon Airport gives the lie to their claims”, said Cllr. Tynan.

He also pointed out that the USS Donald Cook is capable of firing nuclear warheads and is otherwise armed with a powerful array of lethal weapons designed to kill and maim.

USS Cook

USS Donald Cook arrives at Cobh this morning – this is the ship that started the Iraq war by firing the first Tomahawk missile at Baghdad