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Prison Officers, Police and the Oil Industry

Shell to Sea Supporter | 27.10.2009 13:35 | Climate Chaos | Repression

"I take it there is no love lost between Moira Harrington and the police?
"No, but in prison they are different. I think there is no love lost between the police on the oustide and the police on the inside."

Greetings Friends of the Rossport Solidarity Camp!

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a month since the last update - there's been a lot going on.

Some people on the list didn't get our last update, but we'll be archiving them on the new campaign website - - soon.

To support the campaign right now, sign the petition:

Afri petition

The Afri petition calling for a suspension of all work on the project is now online. This is a really worthwhile petition calling for work to stop pending independent investigations into the project. Please sign the petition and circulate widely.

Now, here are some of the stories since the last update, with links to indymedia articles:

Illegal Shell work on the pipeline route stopped

Two weeks ago Shell moved into Aughoose, and began drilling works on the pipeline route. Locals and campers together blocked work for a while.

Last week they were in Glengad at the same thing, still before any decision from An Bord Pleanala. Again work was stopped by locals and campers, this time for a whole day due to direct action.

Assaults in Glengad

On Thursday morning, about 14 hours since the previous day’s digger occupation ended, Shell and IRMS were caught off guard again. Four campers rushed the site and two got up onto the digger. In a bid not to be shown up again, IRMS guards resorted to violence, brutally pulling the campers down. One camper received multiple bruising on the neck after nearly being strangled by an IRMS guard. We have good evidence of the assaults and are pursuing the matter.


One of the campers has started a blog on goings on up here, so for a personal view on events in Rossport check out:

An Bord Pleanála Decision

The already once deferred decision on whether or not to approve Shell’s application for permission to construct an onshore pipeline has been deferred once more to November 6th at the latest. This is significant in that the deferral was only announced on Friday, the day the decision was due to be announced.

A great spoof announcement granting planning took in Radio na Gaeltachta and the Irish Mirror... they obviously didn’t read the planning conditions!

Shell to Sea Gort, Co. Galway

A new group are meeting in Gort and are organising the following events:

Public Talk: Friday 27th of November at around 7:30pm

Fundraiser gig: 28th of November from 9 pm

There’ll be some locals from the affected community there along with some campers too, so hope to see you in Gort.


At the time of our last update we were preparing to fight a large number of court cases at Belmullet District court for charges arising from protest against Shell's offshore pipeline work in 2008 and 2009.

On Monday the 28th of September, between defendants representing themselves, and legal representation from supportive barristers, many cases were dismissed due to their own efforts in defending themselves, and due to an augmented legal team. In cases where it came down to a Garda's word against a defendant, the judge sided with the state, despite gaping holes in some of the evidence and credibility of the Garda witnesses.

In all seven people had their cases dismissed, one case was withdrawn, one case was struck out, two were found technically guilty but no sanction was imposed, six were adjourned and only one was found guilty and fined.

On Wednesday the 30th of September several locals were facing charges from alleged incidents at a cavalcade in 2008. A car rally around the area in support of Maura Harrington in 2008 - who had been on hunger strike at the time in protest at the arrival of the Solitaire pipe-laying ship - was joined by an uninvited unmarked Garda squad car. The Gardaí alleged they were intimidated by local people and pressed charges. After clearly exaggerated evidence from the Gardaí, four defendants were fined but three more are still to be sentenced. The question is why did the Gardaí join a rally in support of someone they consistently target?

Following on from the above, on the 13th of October, Pat O'Donnell was up in Castlebar Circuit Court regarding the possibility of enacting his suspended sentence, but this was adjourned until October 30th. Martin McDonnell is up in Ballina court tomorrow to see whether or not his suspended sentence will be activated.

Also the 9 campers who were arrested on the lock-on & tripod day during the summer (and currently barred from Mayo) were up in Ballina and were adjourned till 24th of November.

Maura Harrington has received more summonses, and it is indicative of how twisted the situation in North Mayo is that we are all surprised if there is a district court sitting in Bellmullet that doesn't involve at least some of us.

Positive TV coverage

Bucking the trend of censorship and/or omission in Irish TV coverage of the Corrib Gas Controversy, Maura Harrington was interviewed on a TG4 lately. Watch the interview here:

part 1:
part 2:
part 3:

Excellent show on RTE

Last night’s excellent show on the Corduff family’s struggle against Shell and the state might give An Bord Pleanala some food for thought. It included some of details of the health and safety aspects of the project and Gardai/security guards abuses.

Help the camp

You don’t have to climb up a digger to help at the camp - there are loads of other practical ways people can help. We’re putting together a list of jobs, materials and skills needed for the camp to function. We’re also hoping to host talks and workshops on the campaign and skills for sustainable living. This will go out soon as a separate email.

In the meantime individuals and groups are very welcome to visit the camp house to learn about the campaign and help however they can. There is plenty to do! Our address at the moment is:

The Rossport Solidarity House

Barr na Coilleadh,



Co. Mayo.

So that’s the news roundup for now, we’ll send out the call out for help/skills/materials soon.

All the best,

Everyone at the camp

Shell to Sea Supporter
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