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category wicklow | anti-capitalism | news report author Friday August 17, 2012 11:02author by Wolfie - Socialist Republicans against Land Grabbers Report this post to the editors

Wicklow Land Grab

Early on Saturday morning [August 11], activists from the socialist republican party éirígí and the Independent Workers Union [IWU] joined with local anglers in a fish-in protest on the shoreline on Mizen Head in County Wicklow.

Early on Saturday morning [August 11], activists from the socialist republican party éirígí and the Independent Workers Union [IWU] joined with local anglers in a fish-in protest on the shoreline on Mizen Head in County Wicklow.

The protest took the form of a fishing competition and occupation of the shore line, which is at the centre of a 10-year dispute between anglers and the owner of the European Golf Club. The golf club owner illegally erected a fence that restricted and denied access to the Wicklow shoreline.

At 6am, as the fish-in protest and competition commenced, the arriving anglers were delighted to observe the illegal barricade – which has been a blight on Wicklow’s landscape – had already been removed, ensuring safe access for all involved. The removal of the illegal fence was the first topic of conversation among the activists and anglers who were hoping that the European Golf Club owner had finally come to his senses and dismantled this barricade and given up his land grab of one of Wicklow’s finest bass fishing amenities.

However their hopes were dashed at 7am when the golf club owner appeared and made it known to the protestors – like a lord – that he still claimed jurisdiction of this part of the Irish coastline. The assembled campaigners were left in no doubt of his brashness when the Gardaí arrived and took the side of the rich elite. The Gardaí informed the protestors that they were invoking the Public Order Act, taking the names and details of the fishing protestors. The protesters pointed out that this was public land and their protest was peaceful, the Gardaí responded that if the protest was not ended forthwith they would return and forcefully remove all protestors. The golf club owner had informed the Gardaí that he had blueprints showing he owns the land, the shore and three metres of the Irish Sea. This statement was met by loud laughter from the protestors.

The Mizen Head campaigners, given time to discuss and vote on their next step, agreed, under protest, to move the fishing competition to the far side of the disputed line, where the competition resumed. Realising that the best fishing was on the disputed side of the illegal border they agreed to postpone the competition and fish-in protest to reconvene at a later date.

Wicklow IWU branch member Seán Doyle stated, “Séamus Costello said that Wicklow is Ireland in miniature – high unemployment, inadequately funded health service, people put to the pin of their collar to provide basic needs for their families, small hill farmers trying to carve out a living, small fishing trawlers trying to eke out a living being paid a pittance for their catches while risking their lives every time they put to sea.

“As far back as 1969, greedy landowners in Brittas Bay have tried to prevent people free access to the beach. Séamus Costello was arrested rallying to their plight. Now 43 years later land grabbing is to the fore just a short distance away at a barricaded shoreline on Mizen Head.”

Following the protest éirígí Cill Mhantáin activist Adrian O’Raghallaigh stated, “For over 10 years fishermen and walkers have been denied safe access to their publicly owned shoreline on Mizen Head, and for generations the people of Wicklow have used these natural amenities.

“In 2005 the European Golf Club was ordered by Wicklow County Council with the backing of An Bórd Pleanála to remove the illegal fence, yet here we are in 2012 and this golf club owner continues his greedy land grab while Wicklow County Council officials and councillors sit back and suck their thumbs.”

Adrian finished by saying, “I call on all anglers and walkers in Wicklow and the surrounding counties to join the next fish-in on Mizen Head, which is currently being planned and will be announced in the very near future.”

Related Link: http://www.eirigi.org/latest/latest160812.html
author by commonerpublication date Fri Aug 17, 2012 16:34Report this post to the editors

What a wanker! How can you own part of the sea? It's different water each time the tide comes in. The sand changes regularly too. What exactly does he own?? It's not like a field where the base soil stays there pretty much and some more is added very slowly over time.

Maybe a boating protest might work well here too? If you are floating on the water then how can you be breaking the law?
And surely by law the beach area is still part of the ever decreasing commons?

Fecking golf clubs. Full of banksters and rich developers.
I guess they don't want to potentially meet dirty poor people while playing a round

author by Johnpublication date Fri Aug 17, 2012 22:27Report this post to the editors

Would be great to see protests resume at the Old Head of Kinsale too if there's a mood about to take on land hungry golf clubs

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