Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle questions Government on US plane used in military flyover above Dublin

Pringle questions Government on US plane used in military flyover above Dublin

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, questioned Government on the use of a US plane in a military flyover above Dublin that was part of a fleet that had been subject to a recent crash investigation.

Addressing the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle said: “Several deadly US Air Force Osprey aircraft crashes have taken place in recent years, one of which occurred in June 2022, when five US Marines were killed in an Osprey crash in southern California. Following this, the Marine Corps published their investigation on 21st of June 2023, which stated that the mishap was due to an ‘unpreventable’ mechanical failure, and not any error on the part of pilots, crew, or maintenance personnel.

“Despite the publication of this report, a US military flyover, including Osprey aircraft, flew over Dublin as part of an American football event in the Aviva Stadium on the 25th of August, 2023.

“This was just two months after the publication of the crash report and just two days before a further three Marines were killed when their Osprey aircraft crashed during a training exercise off the northern coast of Australia. Three months later, eight airmen were killed in another crash in Japan and following this the military grounded all of its Osprey aircraft until the beginning of this year,” he said.

The deputy raised the issue during Questions on policy or legislation.

Deputy Pringle said: “Did the Minister know about the report published by the US Marine Corps in June 2023 before Osprey aircraft were given permission to fly over Dublin in August of that year? If not, why not? And if so, why was this allowed before new safety recommendations were implemented?”

In his response, the Taoiseach, Simon Harris, said he did not have information to hand on it and said he would ask the Minister to directly answer Deputy Pringle’s question.