State Papers 1985: Singapore (but not Israel) could fly missiles over Irish airspace

THE STATE supported the transfer of military cargo by both Singapore and the UAE over Irish airspace but stopped the Israelis doing the same.
National Archive documents due to be released on January 4, 2016, detail the hoops the Israelis had to go through to get permission to fly military transporter planes over Ireland on their way to America to load up with armaments.
Israeli Air Force planes were permitted fly empty transporter aircraft over Ireland to the US, where they loaded up with arms and ammunition.
But they were banned from flying back over Irish airspace laden with their deadly cargoes.
For example, in March 1984, the Israeli Embassy in London was informed that because a flight planned for March 28 would be carrying ‘material de guerre’, it would not be allowed.
‘However, permission is granted for the overflight on March 26, 1984.’
A request for another overflight on June 28 was also rejected.
‘This request was refused on grounds of the cargo being spare parts for tanks and Israel’s position in an area of tension’, noted an official in the Department of Foreign Affairs.
A flight from the US to Israel over Irish air space planned for August 22, 1984 was also refused permission because it was to carry ‘explosives’, while the earlier August 20 flight to the US to collect that same material was permitted.
In contrast, civil servants tasked with granting permission for overflights supported an application by Singapore to fly over Ireland an aircraft laden with military hardware.
On board were ‘two missiles and warheads’.
All officials seemed interested in was that the plane being flown met all the necessary safety standards.
One wrote in the side of confidential documents about the planned flight: ‘We are not, in principle, opposed to granting this Singaporean request.’
Another said: ‘Our relations with Singapore are good.
‘I feel we ought to not refuse this request but we might want to make sure that proper safety measures will be taken.’
A request by the United Arab Emirates Air Force to fly a plane over Irish airspace from the US that contained ‘military stores’ was also considered favourably.
An official said in memo marked ‘Urgent’: ‘All other things equal, we would not in principle be opposed to the overflight by UAE, given the military stores in question are not in themselves dangerous or unstable (unlike warheads etc).’
But they added: ‘We are reserved about granting the overflight given that the Gulf is clearly an area of tension and that, as a general rule, we are cautious about granting overflights to areas of tension.’
However, permission for the November 1984 fly-over was eventually granted.

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