I'm trying to understand yesterday's verdict that found that the five anti-war protestors were not guilty of "causing damage without lawful excuse to a naval aircraft". Obviously the 'lawful excuse' is the key seeing as the protestors admitted damaging the aircraft at Shannon.
So, what I'd like to know is what this 'lawful excuse' clause is and in what circumstances it can be applied? I have to figure that all US military planes and other equipment at Shannon are now not protected by the law. Are armed guards necessary to prevent further damage? Just how safe is other US government property in Ireland (e.g. the US Embassy). Could someone set fire to it and claim 'lawful excuse'? I really don't understand this.