On the Just Walkers Blog, we’re always encouraging seniors to maintain an active lifestyle, but preferably not by doing something that would land you in jail. Although for some, such as Margaretta D’Arcy-- a very active, very strong-willed senior-- it might just be worth it.
D’Arcy, or Guantanamo Granny as some local Irish papers are now calling her since she was dressed in a Guantanamo-style orange jumpsuit at the time of the incident, is a 79 year old grandmother of six who requires a rollator to get around. She’s also a political activist, playwright, and member of the arts group Aosdana. On December 11th, 2013 she appeared in court to stand trial for an “unauthorized incursion” on Shannon airfield which was alleged to have put her life and the lives of those onboard incoming flights in danger.
What was she doing on Shannon airfield? Protesting Ireland allowing U.S. military to pass through, which, in her words, violates and humiliates Ireland’s constitution and undermines their neutrality. But the Shannon airfield incursion wouldn’t be her last protest. During the trial, D’Arcy evaded security and got within two meters of the Judge before police intercepted her. D’Arcy declared, “I am making a citizen’s arrest on you Patrick Durcan for making Irish people active allies and participants in illegal wars.”
The Judge then retreated to his chambers, before returning to the bench to convict D’Arcy and sentence her to three months in jail. D’Arcy’s response-- “I don’t mind.”
If you’re curious about D’Arcy and her views or even her plays, you can check out her website at http://www.margarettadarcy.com. Whether you agree or disagree with her, it’s inspiring that even at age 79 one can still lead an active, passionate, artistic life.