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Shell Oil & the Children of Lir
national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis Saturday December 31, 2011 14:04 by Kevin - Shell to Sea
The tunnel boring machine(TBM) planned to tunnel under Sruwadducon Bay has been named ‘Fionnuala’ after one of the children of Lir. The 4 children of Lir were turned into swans for 900 years by their jealous step-mother. They spent the last 300 years in the seas off North Mayo.
In the story of the children of Lir the 4 children Aodh, Fiachra, Conn and Fionnuala are stricken by their jealous step-mother Aoife and turned into swans. In some remorse for her terrible deed, she leaves them their human voices, to lament and sing of the terrible hardships of living on the sea. 900 years they are condemned to live as swans. 300 years on Lough Derravaragh, 300 years on the sea of Moyle and 300 years on the seas off Iorras Domhnann. Sruwadducon bay (the bay of the Dog of Conn) is named after Conn one of the children of Lir, as the sea’s off Erris are where the children of Lir spent their last 300 years. They returned to human form before dying and are buried on the isle of Inis Gluaire. The ground there is said to be sanctified.
Fionnuala the Tunnel Boring Machine’ is 140 m long and weighs almost 500 tonnes. It is painted with the Mayo colours and is to be transported to Erris for early next summer. Shell plan to bore a 4.5 m diameter 4.9 km tunnel up Sruwadducon bay, passing after behind the sand-dunes at Glengad and under farmers fields to reach the planned gas-pipe landfall site.
This is Shell’s gift to Sruwadducon, a giant and poisonous phallus: ‘bod nimhneach an ghaill dhaill’ (the poisonous penis of the bitter and the blind ).
Is this ancient and beautiful area where some of the first Celtic peoples settled to be excavated and treated like mere ‘collateral trash’? Fionnuala if she were to come back would be appalled to see her name adopted by such a monster.
The TBM is being constructed by 'Herrenknecht' close by the town of ‘Schwanau’ in Germany. A Literal translation of Schwanau is ‘Swan of the little river’ , and the towns emblem is a swan. How insulting to the name and geist of their own town, that they should manufacture there such a machine. A swan to kill all other swans and drive them away.
Last year 27 swans (a conference of swans) gathered on the water in Sruwadducon. They stayed together as the tide rose and fell for a day before flying out off the bay and to the sea. Swans are also associated with the Irish struggle for freedom.
It brings bad luck to those who kill them. Let us invoke the curse of Mannanan McLir ( a Celtic god of the sea) on Shell, may their hopes founder and be crushed by the Sea.
In the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin, there is a statue of the Children of Lir spiralling upwards as swans to soar into the sky. They are a symbol of peoples desire for Freedom. Do we want to throw our freedom away and give it to Shell?
Children of Lir in the Garden of Remembrance (Dublin) 0.05 Mb Spirit of Place (Children of Lir) Carrowteigue 0.03 Mb Shell the Goddess of Oil 0.06 Mb Mananann MacLir 0.08 Mb