Dozens of people rallied outside the General Post Office building in the Irish capital of Dublin on Friday, to protest against the existence of US and NATO military bases both in Ireland and around the world.

The Republic of Ireland has an official policy of neutrality and as such seeks to avoid involvement in foreign wars or military alliances, and is not a member of NATO. It does however deploy troops as part of UN peacekeeping operations.

However it has been claimed that the Irish government has been violating this policy by allowing Shannon Airport, in Ireland's western County Clare, to be used as a stopover point by military aircraft, in recent years primarily from the US. It is also alleged to have been a stopover point for extraordinary rendition flights by the CIA.

One protester articulated their aims as "we are trying to restore Irish neutrality and get the US out of Shannon airport."

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