Information from Shell to Sea.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [ShelltoSeaNews] Rossport Solidarity Camp Update - 14th March 09
Date: Sat, 14 Mar 2009 16:55:51 +0000
From: rossport solidarity camp
Reply-To: shelltoseanews@...,rossport solidarity camp
Hope this e-mail finds you all well. This is a brief update on the
recent jailing of Maura Harrington, the attack on Niall Harnett and
other recent legal updates.
*Summary of the Update Below*
* Maura Harrington has been jailed for 28 days (now in her 4th
day). Please send her a postcard.
* Shell Work in Glengad still hasn�t begun, but is expected to in
the near future. Off-shore pipe laying expected to begin in May.
* Garda� have begun to hand out summonses to local Shell to Sea
people in advance of the Shell work beginning
*Maura Harrington Jailed for 28 Days*
On 11 March 2009, Maura Harrington was sentenced to 28 days in prison in
relation to an assault at Pollathomais Pier on the 11th June 2007. On
that occasion, Garda� and Shell used a digger to force their way onto
private property against the wishes of the landowner in order to
facilitate the construction of a portacabin.
Here�s a YouTube clip of the Pier incident:
Or to read an indy report on it see: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82983
On that day, around 20 local people were injured by Garda�, but no Garda
has ever been brought to justice. During the hearing of the case, Maura
Harrington refused to take the stand in her own defence after Judge Mary
Devins refused to allow video footage of the incident to be admitted.
This incident was one of the more brutal examples of the State and
Shell�s disregard for the health and well-being of the people of Erris.
Paddy McGrath who land the incident happened out suffered a severe
stroke, 9 days after this incident which doctors said was brought on by
anxiety and stress.
Judge Devins lectured Maura on the horror of the attack of one public
servant against another - a principal against a policeman - and
questioned Maura�s mental state, ordering her to seek psychiatric
evaluation. She went on to order Maura to sign a bond preventing her
from interfering with Shell�s operations in Mayo for a year and also pay
�1000 to the Garda Benevolent Fund. Maura refused these insults, was
given two more days in prison for contempt of court, and was escorted
out of the courtroom by Garda�, to a rousing standing ovation from Shell
to Sea supporters.
*Latest Info when Shell work will start*
It is still unclear as to when exactly the work will start. At the
moment all is still quiet in Glengad but we expect them to begin work
anytime in the coming weeks. In the last few days Shell have sent
around letters to the fishermen in the area saying that the Solitaire
will begin laying the pipe in Broadhaven Bay "around May". We have
heard that a local subcontractor that provides the safety boats has told
workers that they will be working from the start of April. It also
seems that the Government are trying to get some talks going between the
Shell and the local community so this might also delay Shell for a short
*Other Legal Updates*
Political policing in Erris is ongoing. Shell is due to re-commence
work at Glengad this spring, and at the same time, Garda� have handed
out at least 25 summonses to 10 different people for their opposition to
Shell. The summonses have been issued for several events from the past
year, including a cavalcade of cars supporting Maura Harrington on
hunger strike, protests outside of Shell headquarters in Belmullet and
the Glengad construction site gates, and destruction of a net damaging
bird nests on Glengad beach. While hundreds of people were involved in
these events altogether, the summonses seem to have been delivered to
targeted individuals, some people receiving five or six separate summonses.
Also in Belmullet Court on Wednesday, two Rossport residents initiated
proceedings against Shell. Shell and their sub-contractors have been
carrying out site investigations on Rossport Commonage throughout the
winter, in violation of a previous court ruling prohibiting them from
such investigations. The case was adjourned until the 14th of May to
court in Achill.
*Niall Harnett attacked, and his assault charges against Garda� dismissed*
Camp member Niall Harnett was assaulted by garda� at the Belmullet
courthouse on Wednesday, 11 March. Garda� initiated a scuffle around
lunchtime in the courtroom and in the doorway area between the courtroom
and the lobby. Niall received an injury to his back, and was unable to
walk until the following day. He left the courthouse in an ambulance,
and was admitted to Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar overnight. He
has been released from the hospital, and is recovering from soft tissue
trauma in his back and neck.
Niall was scheduled to appear in Achill District Court on Thursday, 12
March for a hearing of his case against three Belmullet Garda�, but
could not attend the hearing because he was still in the hospital. He
was bringing charges of assault against the Garda� � one of whom was
involved in the incident at the Belmullet courthouse the previous day.
Judge Devins was provided with a fax from the hospital and testimony of
a camp member to explain Niall�s absence. She was present in the
courtroom during the assault as well. In spite of all this, she
dismissed the case because of Niall�s failure to appear in court. Judge
Devins and defence solicitor Liam Guidera went on to grill the camp
member on the stand about their communication with Niall, whereabouts on
Wednesday night, and half an hour�s worth of other questions unrelated
to Niall�s injuries and health condition.
In the end, this is another absolutely shocking decision against Shell
to Sea and justice generally by Judge Devins. Shell to Sea supporters
continue to be tied up in court cases on trumped up charges for
everything under the sun, while Garda� have yet to be successfully
prosecuted for any of their brutal attacks on the people involved in
In non-legal related news, the Irish Seal Sanctuary released a seal pup
back into the wild on Sunday, the 1st of March on Blacksod Point.
Several Shell to Sea campaigners and camp members were asked to speak
and assist with the release. You can view photos of the event here:
http://www.irishsealsanctuary.ie/ This struggle is about more than
court cases and skirmishes with police. Plus....seal pups are cute.
*Submissions in Opposition to Pipeline*
Monday, March 9, local residents handed in 131 submissions to the
Department of Energy & Natural Resources in opposition to the proposed
Corrib Gas pipeline. Another 100 were estimated to have been sent
independently. The majority of the submissions called on Minister Eamon
Ryan to hold a public oral hearing so that their opposition to the
current pipeline can be heard openly.
*So....what can we do?*
That�s a general update on the situation out here for now. The next
month or two will see more court cases and probably the beginning of the
construction site at Glengad. Works that were expected to start the
first weekend in March are now expected to start the first weekend in
April, with other delays still a possibility. Keep in touch with the
camp for further updates on the expected time-frame for construction.
Please consider doing one of the following:
* Support Maura at Mountjoy
Write letters, send postcards, let her know she isn�t in there
alone. �From the outside in, to the inside out, solidarity �
shout it out!�
North Circular Road,
* Come visit Mayo:
You would be more than welcome to stay at the camp. Find
There are jobs for everyone to do from making banners, doing
actions, supporting people in court, or starting this year�s garden.
* Take action at Home
Everyone won�t have the time to travel over so there�s a load that
can be done from wherever you are. See
http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.110mb.com/support.html for some
suggestions. There are other jobs that can be done from a
distance, including research, so if you are interested in doing
some of this work please contact us.
* Consider making a donation to the campaign. A few fines have been
handed down in the last few weeks so any money you can contribute
would be most welcome.
The Rossport Solidarity Camp Account.
Bank of Ireland, Belmullet, Co Mayo.
Account Number: 24306733 Sort Code 905299
Bank ID: BOFIIE2D IBAN No:IE83 BOFI 9052 9924 3067 33
Take care and hope to see lots of ye soon,
Rossport Solidarity Camp