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SchNEWS 730: The Hole Truth

11.07.2010 13:17 | Rossport Solidarity | Ecology | Globalisation | Ocean Defence

As SchNews reports from the new Rossport frontline

There is still plenty of ire left in Ireland as campaigners ready themselves for another summer of action against Shell and their plans to despoil the coast of County Mayo with a new gas pipeline (see SchNEWS 719). The project is already a decade late and three times over budget; pretty impressive for a small community fighting one of the biggest multinationals in the world.

Rossport on the newswire:
Rossport Solidarity | Shelltosea Summer Gathering | Bristol Solidarity Night | Norfolk Shell gas terminal blockaded! | Shell due to start work

Previous years’ resistance and obstruction – whilst met with intimidation, violence, police and legal harassment - have finally led to a rethink at Shell HQ. Their cunning plan is now to avoid going through the troublesome Rossport area and instead build underneath the nearby Sruth Fhada Chonn estuary instead.

Preparation for this involves drilling up to 80 boreholes to assess suitability, with work due to start this month. The site is a Specially Protected Area (and what self-respecting energy corporation would build anywhere else?), part of the Broadhaven Bay Special Area of Conservation, and the operation will damage parts of the estuary, disturbing the local wildlife, particularly Atlantic salmon and birds found on the intertidal areas.

But, as they have every step of the way, local campaigners and Shell to Sea activists are planning to stop them (without any extra disturbing of wildlife, presumably). They are calling for a “continuous mass act of civil disobedience” and want groups or individuals to pledge to stop a borehole at some time this summer.

The aim is to assemble a rag-tag bag of ‘Shell’s angels’ and assign each borehole it’s own ‘Beat the Borehole’ group. Actions could range from merely walking out on the sands for picnic to full-on boarding of drilling rigs.

Due to the tides, and seasonal nature of the job, any disruption that slows the process down could prevent them getting an adequate survey done this year. Work has to stop in mid-Oct when the protected Brent Geese arrive for the winter.

The Solidarity Camp is now located on land right next to the estuary. Everyone is welcome to stay there and equipment / training can be provided. There is also a camp house and local hostel nearby if camping isn’t for your (sleeping) bag.

* To pledge to Beat a Borehole email/ring the camp Ph: +353 851141170 Email -

** See also Rossport Solidarity Camp | Shell to Sea

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