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To sHell or to Connaught!

dara | 29.06.2005 14:45 | Ecology | Globalisation | Social Struggles | London

Local community requests help from activists to fight a Shell/Statoil/Marathon gas pipeline that will threaten their lives and be ecologically devastating for an isolated, beautiful area of Ireland

Local Area
Local Area

The local community of Rossport, Co. Mayo is threatened with unprecedented human and ecological devastation by a collusion of the Irish State and a hydrocarbon consortium, led by Royal Dutch Shell. The consortium plan an unprecedented raw gas pipeline that will run over boggy land, within 70m of farmer's houses and through a landslide prone area to a refinery, also built on bogland. The Irish State granted Shell Compulsory Acquisition Orders, which threaten the landowners with prison if they refuse to sell their land. There was also an injunction placed upon the landowners from preventing Shell employees access to their land.

Today, in the midst of a week-long blockade of the roads to the refinery building site by locals and activists, the High Court has ruled to imprison all five defendants for breaking the injunction (ie. refusing to allow Shell employess access to land). It looks like the Court will attempt to imprison everyone who gets in the way of this pipeline.

The area, Rossport in north Co. Mayo is one of incredible natural splendour. Broadhaven Bay, into which Shell would pump magnesium oxide, arsenic, lead etc. is a breeding ground for whales, basking sharks, dolphins (including the very rare Rizo's dolphin) and salmon. A camp was first established at an early June solidarity weekend and there are now calls for its revitalisation. For photos of the solidarity weekend, go here:

For photos of the area, see here

This campaign is winnable, but it needs committed activists. I am currently in London, but will be heading to Mayo immediately after the G8. I hope to spend the time until then informing people about this situation and getting people to go to the camp in Mayo. If you'd like to learn more, I'll be at the gig in RampArts tonight; glasses, black hair, short and slightly silly Irish accent. Otherwise, I'll be on the train on Friday. Please talk to me if you'd like to get involved so we can sort out logistics with the people in Mayo now.

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