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No Return To Bellanaboy For Shell
Tuesday April 04, 2006 01:14 by Michael and Bob - Rossport Solidarity Camp www.rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot com 097 20944
This morning saw a frustrating start to the business year for Shell as their subcontractors Roadbridge attempted to access the proposed gas refinery site at Bellanaboy in Erris, Co. Mayo.
At 9:20 Monday morning, a truck carrying earthmoving machinery and a dumper containing gravel tried to gain access to the site to begin preparatory work required to put in place further Axonics water filtration equipment. The way was blocked by approximately 20 protesters, including residents of the Rossport Solidarity Camp and the vehicles were refused access. Shell to Sea are not allowing any equipment onto the site until Mayo County Council and Shell are prepared to explain the need for the additional equipment on a site which they claim is not releasing contaminated water.
It was a very good thing for the driver of the truck that the protestors barred his path as the arm of the digger was set to collide with overhead phone cables!
Erris Shell to Sea very recently exposed the fact that Mayo County Councils own test results have indicated a higher than permissible aluminium content in the drinking water. Amazingly, Mayo County Council are claiming this is a result of human error and insisting the drinking water is uncontaminated, which begs the question: why then increase the amount of filtration equipment on site? Video footage from inside the site has shown dirty water passing through a non-operational filtration system and leaving the site into Carrowmore Lake, source of the local drinking water supply for the Erris region. However, those responsible will not admit that there is a problem and claim the existing equipment is sufficient to purify the waste water, while simultaneously demanding more filters be installed.
Alongside this insult to the intelligence of the residents, Shell mouthpiece Mark Carrigy has made attacks on their character. He claimed live on radio that they had stolen materials from the site and allowed their children to run around unsupervised on the site for three hours. Until these untruths are retracted and the public record is set straight on these matters, Shell to Sea are refusing to allow the equipment on site.
Meanwhile, Shells PR blitz continues as they inundate the local papers with notices. They employed their usual tactic in relation to today’s events; waiting until the end of the main evening news broadcast on local radio station MWR to complain about protesters, which makes it too late for any objector to phone in a comment.
The Rossport Five, Willie Corduff, Micheal O’ Seighin, Brendan Philbin and brothers Philip and Vincent McGrath, who are in contempt of court for breaking an injunction placed on them by the High Court for not allowing Shell engineers onto their land to stake out the route of the high-pressure pipeline that leads to the refinery site, spent 94 days in prison last year till their release on September 30th. Ever since their release Justice Finnegan, President of the High Court, has procrastinated in making a final judgement on the punishment he insists he is within his rights to inflict on the five. As all five have been called to appear this Friday, it is believed that he may be preparing to deliver his final decision.
Supporters of the Rossport Five and the Shell to Sea campaign will be gathering outside the High Court on Friday at 10:00. Anyone who wishes to see the injustice being perpetrated against these men and their community by Shell and the State put to an end is encouraged to attend.
too close for comfort
goin out the same way you came in