BACKGROUND - In Rossport, County Mayo, residents & supporters continue to obstruct the building of a dangerous gas pipeline. Last year five men from Rossport were jailed for contempt of court for refusing to obey the High Court order not to interfere with the construction of the Corrib gas pipeline. Yesterday they were expected to be back at the High Court, potentially facing more time in jail.
In Mayo Shell and Statoil, with the approval of the Irish government, are planning to:
***Take land from local residents and build a high pressure gas pipeline that will go past their houses: the pressure inside the pipeline will be up to four times greater than that of the biggest Bord Gais pipelines. The pipeline will be going through boggy land with a history of landslides.
***Construct a gas refinery on unstable bog: This construction will be using previously untried methods to stabilise the bog surface and involve a massive amount of traffic. Emissions from the refinery will affect the
nearby Carrowmore Lake, source of the regional water supply.
***Pump toxic waste into Broadhaven Bay: A U.C.C. research team found that Broadhaven Bay was an important breading and rearing area for dolphins and whales. They recorded over 220 sightings of seven whale and dolphin species, plus sightings of two seal species, in Broadhaven Bay and north-west Mayo waters.
From the latest Indymedia Ireland report:
LIKE LIVING UNDER MARTIAL LAW IN MAYO
...Speaking of the determination of the establishment to suppress opposition to the pipeline, O' Sheigin quoted the judge who in open court had told them "I'll take your house, I'll take your car, I'll take them from every farmer in Mayo if I have to'. The local bishops are trying to undermine support for them. RTE had banned the use of the term 'Rossport Five' although this had forced them to rely on using 'Shell to Sea' as an alternative, thereby creating some difficulty for themselves in their attempts to support the government line while while trying to find a form of wording that would not seem in any way to legitimise the protest. ...O' Sheigin and Dunphy gave an insightful talk focusing sharply on the toothlessness of the mainstream media on this and similar issues. Relating the history of events to date, O Sheigin gave a chilling account of how the local community in Mayo and the national interests had been so badly used and abused. He expressed his disappointment in Enda Kenny as a local TD and party leader whom he also described as 'an emotional bankrupt'. On pointing out to Kenny the fears that objectors to the pipeline had in view of the deaths of protestors in other countries, Kenny had remarked 'you can get shot here too - it only costs about five hundred to a thousand euros'.