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Rossport Five escape more time in prison

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Friday April 07, 2006 19:06author by Shell to Seaauthor email dublinshelltosea at gmail dot comauthor phone 0876181620 Report this post to the editors

The five men gaoled last year for contempt of court have received a final judgement from the president of the High Court

Micheál Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Brendan Philbin, and Philip and Vincent McGrath were brought before the courts again today to receive the final judgement from Justice Joseph Finnegan, the President of the High Court.

The five were imprisoned last year for three months, for refusing to obey his order to cease protesting against the scheme by Shell and Statoil to install a dangerous, experimental, raw-gas pipeline through their village.

img_0188.jpg

Justice Finnegan noted that he had the right to fine or even gaol the five men, since they had never obeyed his order. The reason they had been released from prison last September was only because Shell had dropped the injunction against them.

However he announced that he had decided that the men should face no further punitive action. Therefore he is not sending them back to prison, or fining them. He decided though, that they are liable to pay Shell's legal costs as well as their own, a bill which will run to hundreds of thousands of euro.

The men stressed that their imprisonment, and the trauma caused to their families and communities, was only one chapter in the struggle to free Mayo of the blight of Shell's scheme to exploit the Corrib gas find by processing the raw fuel at a giant refinery , rather than off-shore, which is normal practice. The campaign against the pipeline is set to continue, even stepping upm a gear now.

There was a large turn out of supporters at the court, including many who had travelled from Mayo. There were also representatives of Sinn Féin and The Green Party as well as Independent TD Gerry Cowley.

Many protesters, including Sinn Féin Councillor Gerry Murray, then travelled to the Statoil building in the IFSC, where they attempted to deliver a section of the controversial pipeline back to the company.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com

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author by shell to seapublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A few more photos from the court this morning.

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author by iosafpublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 19:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I note not one of you has gone "portly" or "flabby" or "overweight" or feel the need to give that "awful pat on the back whilst you shake someone else's hand while smiling at the camera". I've watched ye a long time, given you solidarity in various languages, including your own two, norwegian, spanish and catalan and I like ye a lot. Keep going! and don't let any political party attempt to harness "the energy" - its your energy. Remember that please. You can stand next to them on stages, ask them for help, even get given their mobile numbers, but never, ever let them think they can count on your exclusive support. Because their exclusive support did not bring you where you are today, and will not bring the countless millions in third world countries who are daily victims of the Energy Corporations war on the poor to safety.

author by fanpublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 20:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I believe one of the Rossport 5 should run as an independent TD candidate on local property, ecological, farming, and global issues! do it! You've more a chance as an independent than with any of the national parties, and you'll sit opposite the hypocritical manipulative bastards that allowed you be locked up in prison and stare them in the face on tax-payers money everyday. That would be tax payers money well spent.

PLEASE! one of you! run for office as an independent candidate!
you'll get all the support & advice you need.

author by Chris Murray - at homepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 20:28author email dotliath at gmail dot comauthor address n/aauthor phone 087-776-5289Report this post to the editors

Whilst welcoming the lack of Prison sentence , I would urge a re-write of the article with a banner headline, The Rossport Five are liable for costs, Their own and Shell's.
Three recent environmental cases have had this result. Dominic Dunne, in the case of the hotel development at Trim Castle, Vincent Salafia in the Hill of Tara Case and the Shell to Sea Campaign.
While there is a wide divergence in the legal issues here, from the issue of contempt through the judicial review process . The fact is that legislative protection for environment is kow-towed to the corporate agenda, be it Shell or the Cheney wing of Haliburton who are signed on to the Tara project.
This is not a simple issue of david Vs goliath it is an issue of right and freedoms , the right of the citizen to seek judicial process against a legislative climate of corruption. These cases are indicative of the State's use of legislation to prevent and obstruct the right to question the planning process.
In the recent Planning and Development Bill of 2006 (Strategic infrastructure Bill) launched on the 16th Feburary , Minister Dick Roche TD stated that he would amend the bill on it's path through the Oireachtas to include gas pipelines. The envisaged restructuring of An Bord Pleanala to fast track corporate access to buliding rights concommitently reduces the citizen's right to a hearing, elements of the Aarhus Convention will be transposed into Irish Law to allow 'recognised environmental NGO's ' access the judicial process. These NGO's must have the protection of the environment as their stated aim and be operative for twelve months prior to accessing judicial process. The citizen and the issue of 'locus Standi' or standing will become an issue. The re-structuring of the courts to fast-track queries of an Bord Pleanala decisions is also envisaged. Whilst the NRA have published a template for route selection, construction of an EIS and criteria connecting to critical infrastructure projects which both subvert the Code of Practice agreed between the Dept Of Art's , Heritage, Gaelteacht and the Islands (2000) and the statutory implementation of the National Monuments Act by Duchas which has been abolished these last three years.
The issue of punitive sentence versus punitive fine is a simple one, they were not broken through imprisonment so another flank will be tried. A corporation such as Shell has suceeded in having their costs met by the high court , just as the hotel developers in Trim and the NRA and Meath County Council in Tara. A precedent has been created wherein people with an objection to planning decisions are suffering because they stand on a principle, not of defiance but of concern.
There are issues of legislation and the use of over-all majority voting in these instances that require examination by human rights bodies. In the case of Tara , the legislation for protecting the
archaeological complex simply does not exist. Yet there has been a raft of planning legislation and an almost equvalent dilution of protective legislation.

A simple summing up would be as a citizen you have no right to question the law and how it pertains to you, the mandate that you have given to those you vote for has been abused.

' Environmental Assessment and Construction Guidelines' NRA (Launched 30/03/06)
www.nra.ie
(cf Archaeological section, by Margaret Gowen and associates)

Code of Practice agreed between the NRA and the Dept of Art's, Heritage, Gaelteacht and the Islands
(Signed and undated, Sile De valera TD)

Could someone add the link for the : Planning and Development Bill 2006 , (Strategic Infrastructure Bill)

http://www.hilloftara.info

Related Link: http://www.tarawatch.org
author by Elainepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 20:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who attempted to deliver a section of the disputed pipeline to Statoil's Dublin Office. (And not a tree felled in the process!)

Watch Yer Backs There Now
Watch Yer Backs There Now

Our Spirits Are Free But Not Our Resources
Our Spirits Are Free But Not Our Resources

Comin' Through
Comin' Through

Hold On, I Can't Find The Letter Box!
Hold On, I Can't Find The Letter Box!

Ye Didn't Try To Stop Shell Pushing The Pipeline Through Rossport
Ye Didn't Try To Stop Shell Pushing The Pipeline Through Rossport

author by shell to seapublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

full story on the newswire - http://www.indymedia.ie/article/75307

author by Elainepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 20:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

After a few attempts to return Statoil's property, the lads decided to lay the pipe across the entrance. Effectively blockading the building.

A 'Right Guard' Moment
A 'Right Guard' Moment

Don't Bogart That Pipe Lads
Don't Bogart That Pipe Lads

It Ain't 'Either / Or'
It Ain't 'Either / Or'

Statoil Can Afford A Poncy Office
Statoil Can Afford A Poncy Office

Lay Your Burden Down
Lay Your Burden Down

author by Elainepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 21:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But the picket livened it up considerably.

Flying Picket
Flying Picket

Braving The Rain
Braving The Rain

Blockading The Entrance ...
Blockading The Entrance ...

... While Eating Crackers - Ye Make It Look Easy Lads
... While Eating Crackers - Ye Make It Look Easy Lads

Pipe Laying Crew
Pipe Laying Crew

author by Elainepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 21:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When she tried to enter the building, the guards blocked her way and refused her admission. She took names and kicked ass, witnessed and recorded by a friendly neighbourhood 'Revolt Video' head. It should by coming to an independent media site near you soon! Get popcorn.
Ironically for a Shell / Statoil pipe, it went out the way it came in. Carried on the backs of dedicated Shell 2 Sea supporters through the centre of Dublin and up O'Connell street. A short breather / Photo op at the GPO and away we went again. Cries of 'careful - dangerous gas pipe' had shoppers getting out of the way fast. Imagine how they would feel if it was a few yards from their homes and filled with high pressure, untreated gas.

Maura Arrives - We've Got Loads Of These Lying Around Back Home
Maura Arrives - We've Got Loads Of These Lying Around Back Home

Cops In The Dock
Cops In The Dock

Store Street Guards
Store Street Guards

At The GPO: Set Her Down Easy Lads, - I Can't, She's Snagged On Something
At The GPO: Set Her Down Easy Lads, - I Can't, She's Snagged On Something

At Last We Found A Use For The Pipe
At Last We Found A Use For The Pipe

author by EC - RSCpublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 22:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

class action lads,
(& i like the suits)

i missed the six one but the rossport 5 were way down the items on the rte nine o clock after some amazingly unnewsworthy drivel about a weddingdress shop going bust and something to do with recycling of electric kettles.

anyhow well done & hopefully see you all soon at the solidarity camp.

Related Link: http://www.struggle.ws/rsc
author by Madam K - Revolt Video Collectivepublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 23:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done all round...
Action's speak louder than words..
This battle has been won...
The Fight continues..
See you on the beach,
Solidarity,

..VIDEO: www.obin.org/video/wawa/07-04-06-rosport5.mpg

Related Link: http://www.obin.org/video/wawa/07-04-06-rosport5.mpg
author by kinopublication date Fri Apr 07, 2006 23:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I came here to make much the same comment as what chris is saying. and what he says is important.

I mean they "escaped" ??? many other words could have been better. - this is irrelavant anyway, perhaps the story headline should read more like: "High Court avoids public outrage, yet succeeds in putting huge stress on protest movement.

It's really lamentable if people think that there is some success in this.
The clever judge has played a blinder.

Madam K, are you crazy? 5 go free from the courts? "hundreds of thousands of euro" does not equal "free", it means a huge pressure on the campaign. don't play into their hands. you're reaction is exactly what they want! Make themselves look all nicey nicey while they do their best to f*ck you up good.

Fucks sake, are we talking about a legal precedent here which will make it near impossible to take action in the courts against corporations for fear of costs?

author by CM Guerinpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 00:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Go n-éirí libh, a chairde. Tá brón orm nach raibh mé ann inniu.

Related Link: http://www.tara-foundation.org
author by emmapublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 00:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

shell to hell!!!
i've posted this on uk indymedia too
http://publish.indymedia.org.uk/en/2006/04/337835.html
i watched rte news over the internet earlier today, and while obviously we can't believe everything that rte say (!), the line was that while costs were awarded against the five, shell would not be claiming them, can anyone confirm or deny this?

author by CM Gpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 00:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Ar Aghaidh Libh", a óinseach!

author by Niallpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 00:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell to Hell

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 07:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's a sad fact that you must buy jusctice in this country and that even then you'll still get shafted.

author by c Murray - TaraWatchpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 11:14author email dotliath at gmail dot comauthor address n/aauthor phone 087-7765-289Report this post to the editors

According to Today's Irish Times Court report Mr Justice Joesph Finnegan made the order for costs against the Rossport Five without application from Shell. Frank Callanan Sc for some of the men objected that an application for costs was not made by Shell EP, Justice Finnegan said that he would do so despite the lack of application . This copperfastens the issue of punitive justice.
The article is in the Times (8/04/06).Mary Carolan , court reporter. Is this a new legal precedent?
The heading is Shell welcomes ruling.

Related Link: http://www.hilloftara.info
author by madam kpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 12:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Kino i am in total agreement with you. "5 go free at the four courts" was a title for the video that was suggested by those present at the court. I will let the material speak for itself. Had a problem with connection and will need to upload it again.

author by Éamonn Ó Flannagáinpublication date Sat Apr 08, 2006 16:02author email cupla2 at gmail dot comauthor address 12 Maywood Crescent, Rath Éanna, Baile Átha Cliath 5author phone 086 066 1055Report this post to the editors

Dept. of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources approval for Law Breaker.

The recently published "An Coimisinéir Teanga - Tuarascáil Bhliantúil 2005" reveals that the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources gave “permission” to An Post not to comply with a provision of the Official Languages Act in relation to simultaneous publication of a key document in Irish and English. The full details are available at www.coimisineir.ie.

I was the person who made the complaint as I considered that there was a touch of Lord Dennings "terrible/appalling vista" about the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources taking it upon itself to knowingly encourage AN POST to break the law. It is ironic that this is the very same Department that rigorously enforces the law against fishermen and is also responsible for monitoring the activities of SHELL which had the Rossport Five jailed.

Related Link: http://www.coimisineir.ie
author by W.Finnertypublication date Sun Apr 09, 2006 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Like a great many other senior public officials in the Republic of Ireland, Mr Justice Finnegan (President of the High Court) appears to be acting as though he has still not heard anything at all yet about the United Nations Aarhus Convention Agreement - in spite of the fact that the Republic of Ireland signed this EXTREMELY important legal document on June 25th 1998 (see http://www.unece.org/env/pp/ctreaty.htm ).

Article 3.8 of the Aarhus Convention Agreement (under GENERAL PROVISIONS) reads as follows:
"Each Party shall ensure that persons exercising their rights in conformity with the provisions of this Convention shall not be penalized, persecuted or harassed in any way for their involvement. This provision shall not affect the powers of national courts to award reasonable costs in judicial proceedings."

Article 9.5 (under ACCESS TO JUSTICE) states:
"In order to further the effectiveness of the provisions of this article, each Party shall ensure that information is provided to the public on access to administrative and judicial review procedures and shall consider the establishment of appropriate assistance mechanisms to remove or reduce financial and other barriers to access to justice."

Numerous completely futile efforts have been made to date to raise the Aarhus Convention Agreement issue with public officials (of all levels) in the Republic of Ireland, including the attempt of November 6th 2004 shown at the following address:
http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...y.htm

Most amazing of all perhaps, is that Senator Jim Higgins MEP has related the following in his e-mail dated November 30, 2004:

"I have contacted the Taoiseach Mr. Bertie Ahern querying the reason that the Aarhus Convention Agreement has not been laid before Dail Eireann in compliance of Article 29.5.1 of the constitution (of the Republic of Ireland)." The full context of this quote by Senator Higgins can be seen at http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...P.htm

Brief, outline information on the HUGE social and environmental benefits of the Aarhus Convention Agreement can be seen at:
http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.co...t.htm

The full legal text of the Aarhus Convention Agreement be viewed at:
http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:NgF6Tq3hFQ4J:www.un...&cd=1

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by rab jpublication date Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A great job indeed. Keep up the good work

author by lumsk - saving icelandpublication date Fri Apr 14, 2006 14:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Saving Iceland, who spent time with the fantastic people of the Shell to Sea campaign earlier last month, have been travelling around Spain discussing issues of Heavy Industry and its effect on Climate Change. We have been keeping up to date with the Shell to Sea campaign and the latest court hearings in Dublin. We send all our good wishes and support to the Rossport community and the protest camp. We have been telling people throughout our travels about the Shell to Sea campaign and drawing similarities all over Europe regarding the way corporations and Goverments try to impose their wills. Your strength and courage is an inspiration and i am sure many people will be attending Rossport this summer from afar. Looking forward to seeing you all again in June.
Lumsk.

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