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Gleeson’s mealy mouthed apology
Fianna Fail: Some habits die hard Anthony
Siteserv and supporting journalists Anthony
Michael O’Regan: A captured journalist? Anthony
Political interference with Gardai must end Anthony
Public Inquiry >>
A bird's eye view of the vineyard
THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO A NEW LOCATION VINEYARDSAKER:
Good news out of Russia - even the "non-system" opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin VINEYARDSAKER:
Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of "false flag" two years ago VINEYARDSAKER:
DPR PM Zakharchenko presser 27/02/15 Economical and political future of DPR VINEYARDSAKER:
Breaking news: FALSE FLAG IN MOSCOW! VINEYARDSAKER:
The Saker >>
The Parallels between the Marriage Equality Referendum and the Divorce Referendum Sun Apr 26, 2015 20:54 | Brian Tobin
Is the Marriage Equality Referendum about Human Rights? Thu Apr 23, 2015 19:22 | Fiona de Londras
Childbirth, Choice and the Courts: The 8th Amendment and More. Tue Apr 21, 2015 18:11 | Máiréad Enright
School of Law, NUI Galway, Annual Distinguished Lecture 2015: Friday 24th April, 8pm, Aula Maxima, N... Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:29 | Charles O'Mahony
Just and unjust wars: the Holy See, #R2P and a concern about genocide in the Middle East Mon Apr 20, 2015 08:38 | Liam Thornton
Human Rights in Ireland >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
And you thought Those MFM Posters were bad??. 22:12 Mon Apr 27, 2015 | irishelectionliterature
Violence in Culture 20:00 Mon Apr 27, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
Public Meeting: Roger Casement and the struggle for indigenous rights in the Putamayo 15:34 Mon Apr 27, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
And a projection from that poll at the weekend? 13:00 Mon Apr 27, 2015 | WorldbyStorm
CLR events calendar 12:01 Mon Apr 27, 2015 | Aonrud
Cedar Lounge >>
Shell Offices blockaded for five hours
One campaigner hospitalised as Gardaí let IRMS loose
Yesterday, one Corrib campaigner was hospitalised and several other injured as Gardaí stood by and allowed IRMS to assault and violently remove a group of people that had peacefully sat in front of the doors of the Shell offices in Belmullet. One member of the group had to be brought by ambulance from Belmullet to Castlebar by ambulance after being hit in the back by a IRMS security guard, while another protester was punched in the face by IRMS senior supervisor Derek Bolger.
From 7:30am yesterday morning a group of around 15 protesters assembled in front of the doors at the Shell offices in Belmullet. The blockade was called in protest against Shell's claim that all consents have now been granted for the onshore section of the Corrib Gas pipeline. The most crucial consent is still missing, that of the local community.
The group were sitting around the Shell doors when at about 10am approximately 30 IRMS security guards arrived led by Pat Doyle, Jim Farrell and Derek Bolger. Also present were around 10 Gardaí. Initally IRMS hemmed in the group at the doorway with a ring of 15 security guards and removed one person. Then the Gardaí came to the group and under instruction from IRMS (and their former Superintendent Pat Doyle) arrested one of the group. After this arrest, there was a half hour break before all the Gardaí pulled back from the scene and let IRMS carry on. IRMS then removed the protesters who were linked together one by one using whatever force was required.
As the security continued to take apart the blockade, some of the removed protesters attempted to get back in to re-join their colleagues. However they were met with considerable violence from particular members of the security. Derek Bolger punched one protester straight in the nose and swung for and missed at least one other protester. A protester was also hit on the back by one security guard and after leaving the scene had to have an ambulance called. He was brought by ambulance to Castlebar hospital on a stretcher and in a neck brace, where X-Rays were taken. He was released from hospital yesterday evening with nerve and tissue damage to his spine and neck.
Towards the end of the protest another campaigner was arrested after he was shoved by a security guard against a ban-garda. At once Sgt. Dermot Butler started accusing the campaigner of having assaulted the ban-garda. The campaigner was then arrested, despite not being told what he was being arrested for. He was later charged with 3 public order offences (not assault) and released. The two people who were arrested are due to appear in Belmullet District Court on July 13th. Sgt. Butler is hardly a protector of women's rights – there are at least 2 allegations that he made sexual remarks about campaigners coming out following the release of recording of a rape conversation among Gardaí. (http://www.shelltosea.com/content/mayo-man-alleges-gard...-2006)
The fact that the Gardaí pulled back and let IRMS deal with the peaceful protest all by themselves is an alarming but definite trend. In law the authority for a private security firm to use force on peaceful protesters is very unclear and isn't being answered by IRMS, Shell or the Gardaí. That Gardaí would stand by as protesters are assaulted by a private security firm is a very worrying development in a supposedly functioning democracy. This situation does occur in a lot of other countries, such as in Nigeria, where State forces also allow Shell to deal with protesters in the way of their choosing. However in Ireland this method of private security firms alone being allowed to deal with protests, is new and should be challenged.
Despite the injuries and arrests however the day was very effective in stopping Shell work as they prepare for construction of the onshore pipeline. Construction is expected to begin shortly (recently Shell said that peat haulage would be starting in the coming weeks) in the Aghoos compound. Employees were prevented from entering their offices for 5 hours & when they could finally return had to be escorted by IRMS. Indeed this has been second day that one of the employees who is over from Shell's Dutch head office has been disrupted from going into the Belmullet Shell offices.