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"The Rule of Shell Law has to be implemented at Bellanaboy". - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

category mayo | environment | news report author Sunday November 12, 2006 15:59author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Sea.author email clare at shelltosea dot comauthor address Doonagore, Liscannor, Co Clare.author phone 086 8444966 Report this post to the editors

ACCOUNTABILITY: Violence & The Law - The Lie that is Bellanaboy.

On Friday November 10th 2006,
On The International Day of Action against Shell,
On Ken Saro-Wiwa Day, the 11th anniversary of his death by hanging, executed by Shell,
On the day when Shell’s Cops - Hell’s Cops, An Garda Síochána were ordered to step up their brutalisation of citizens with violent force and indiscriminate multiple beatings which resulted in the hospitalisation of peaceful protestors,
The, eh … ‘leader & prime minister?!’ of this country, Bertie Ahern, said this:

"The Rule of Shell Law has to be Implemented at Bellanaboy". - Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

In the title and text of this article, I CONSCIOUSLY INSERT ’SHELL’ into An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern's statement, because HE CONSCIOUSLY OMITTED IT.

THIS IS NOT LIBEL, IT IS TRUTH, and I will argue that through every appropriate national and international court of justice available should he or his legal dogs decide, in their wisdom, to sue myself or Indymedia Ireland on this presentation of the facts.
Bertie Ahern, I challenge you.

Clarification: Please note that Niall H does NOT speak on behalf of Indymedia -Ed
Which side are you on boys, which side are you on. Will you be a lousy scab or will you be a man?
Which side are you on boys, which side are you on. Will you be a lousy scab or will you be a man?

Since Tuesday October 3rd when Shell’s Cops broke (temporarily) the Shell to Sea picket at the Shell Corrib Gas Refinery Site at Bellanaboy, directions have come from the highest levels of the Irish Government to quash with violence the dissent against this project which has manifested in the peaceful protest of civil disobedience to Shell Law. So, for the past six weeks, residents of the remote Erris community of North West Mayo, their friends, their families and their supporters, have been subjected to a force of hundreds of Shell’s Cops, members An Garda Síochána who are OUT OF CONTROL with a lust for violence the likes of which I have never experienced, nor do I understand.

We are shocked, we are hurt and our bodies are damaged. We will not be broken.

We are vehement and more confident than ever.

We will break this project, we will break Shell’s Cops / An Garda Síochána and we will break your plans to destroy democracy in this country, you prostitute creatures of Government.

"IT'S QUITE CLEAR that there are people there with an agenda for violence". - Christy Loftus, who now works as 'Shell External Affairs Manager' - ex-journalist with Mayo's 'The Western People', and still a member of the NUJ, the national union of journalists!!!

“It’s not to be tolerated in a civilised society”. Yep, you said that right Christy.

How readily this Shell Government allows deceit to flow readily from their lips. Their forked tongues corrupt the truth, with the filth of their adulteries, into lies.

To whom do ye yield yourselves as servants to obey? To Shell.

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of lies. He cometh not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” John 8:44 & John 10:10.

“We are just ordinary people, fighting for our environmental rights. Greed and money, look what it’s doing to us”. - Joan Hayes, Pallaskenry, mother to Orla Kaiser, both of whom will go to jail if necessary to protect their Bleach Lough Spring Water Supply in Co Limerick. See http://www.indymedia.ie/article/76611 . Joan is a regular visitor to Bellanaboy now with fellow campaigner Donal O’Brien, Pallaskenry who just can’t stay away even when he should be taking things easy following heart problems over the summer and the stress of fighting Limerick County Council who want to poison them with water from the polluted River Deel.


Shell to Sea is organising, as it does best in times of crisis, along various lines of campaigning such as media and film-making, legal challenge, Dáil representation, non-violent direct action, national and international liasing, meetings and rallies, political and democratic organisation etc.

I’d like to focus, in this article, on legal challenge.

I suggest that we can bring these violent aggressors, Shell’s cops and Government ministers to account through the courts of national and international justice.

This is something that we should be prepared to do ourselves, directly, and in consultation with experienced individuals and legal support groups here in Ireland, and in consultation with international lawyers who will volunteer support, some of whom we have been working with and talking too in the last few days and weeks.

For those who have had doubts, myself included, about the chances of success in State courts etc, I’ll say this …

We have a very strong case, a case that cannot be buried, ignored or interfered with politically, because we have a trump card (among many), a constant variable in the equation of our favour and their downfall, and one which can be relied on for surety - the crass stupidity of Government ministers and An Garda Síochána, which cannot fail but to rear its head and show itself in these defining times of crisis. You have shown yourselves and you will show yourselves, despite and against your will. And know this … “By your own words shall you be condemned”.

Having been granted a High Court ‘interlocutory injunction’ on Tuesday Nov 7th against An Garda Síochána, and ‘leave for Judicial Review’ of their behaviour, returning to high court on Dec 1st , ( see http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79574 ), and after having been attacked by three Gardaí on Friday Nov 10th, two of whom are mentioned in my affidavit, and after having my camera forcibly stolen and smashed by them, and after having been punched and kicked on the ground by all three, (Supt. Joe Gannon, Inspector Pat Robinson & Sgt. Dermot Butler MY28), I am encouraged to take on a role of facilitating a joint effort in bringing these dangerous bullies and others to justice.



(a) Make written accounts of any assault, verbal or physical, by members of An Garda Síochána.

(b) Make a note of their numbers.

(c) Ask to see their ID card and ask for their name, which is your entitlement. Make a note of exactly what they say if and when they refuse you.

(d) Establish your witnesses there and then and get your witness contact details. Ask them to write a detailed account for you of what they saw. Co-ordinate and exchange information and facts. Stay in touch with each other.

(e) Establish whether or not there are photos or video footage of the incident and ask the person for copies as soon as possible.

(f) Wait for further instruction as we work on establishing a data-base for all assaults, contact list and decide on strategic course of action. Watch this space and contact me in the meantime, contact details above.


(a) Document, file and/or tape any statement by the above on tv & radio news items, newspapers etc etc. DOCUMENT IT ALL.

(b) Ask them questions, document and witness their answers.

(c) Wait for further instruction as we work on establishing a data-base and contact list and decide on strategic course of action. Watch this space and contact me in the meantime, contact details above.

PURPOSE: Direct Action of a legal nature in directly initiating private proceedings / criminal prosecutions in open public court ourselves, avoiding the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) and ‘political interference’.

REMEMBER: This is a learning experience for us all. We will get on top of it together.


"We fight non-violently, peacefully ... and WE SHALL WIN." - Ken Saro-Wiwa.

We will win for Saro-Wiwa, we will win for Ogoni, we will win for all others who fight Shell the global predator. And we will win for community.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79574
author by Revolutionary.publication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 16:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And in this judgement there is no partiality.

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 16:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You have it in one Niall. On the button, we need the notion of taking this stuff to the courts, national and if needs be international, to percolate, through to activists, names, numbers, times, dates, all ON THE RECORD. Otherwise it's going nowhere but backwards for the community and for the whole country.

Can anyone write up on this thread if they read a statement in any of the papers from the Irish Council for Civil Liberties ICCL, they put it out on Friday afternoon. I caught it at the end of a Dublin radio news bulletin re the actions of this so called police force in Mayo.

Solidarity M B

author by Seán Ryanpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 17:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A very well put piece Niall, and from the heart too. That's the essence of Indymedia, and it's the essence of patriotism. You are calling for this fight to happen within a framework that binds all and at the same time if used correctly, frees us all - the Constitution.

The Courts if used correctly can be a great equaliser - they turn us all into equal Citizens - if used correctly. By the term 'used correctly,' I mean, that the work done in them, be done openly and in view of the public. And that a record be taken of the proceedings and subsequently published, to be subsequently tried in the true Court - the Court of Public Opinion.

I'd be happy to help in any way that I can, to facilitate this procedure - gimme a shout, when you're in a position to.

It's time to put manners on the monkies - and it's already started - and you've had a large part to play in that too.

I hope your injuries, received on Friday, weren't too severe. I'd guess that the injury to your pride and honour, as a fellow Irishman was more severe, knowing that you're a hardy chap. I only hope that more citizens realise that the attack on yourself and the others on Friday was an attack on everything and everyone that is Irish, and that together, we can and that we will do something about it.

My thoughts are with ye.

author by A.V.Fitzgeraldpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 13:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The same night as Bertie's statement, UK'Channel 4's excellent programme 'Unreported World 'broadcast a feature on Shell and other oil companie's pollution and exploitation in Nigeria and the resistance to them. It was uncanny the similarities between the Nigerian presidents comments and Bertie's statement.
You can get a synopsis or podcast of the programme at their website.

Related Link: http://www.channel4.com/news/microsites/U/unreportedworld/
author by Flynn - agrescon@agrescon.nlpublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done again Niall, the constitution is the Cotter Pin of the Whole Mechanism, enshrined in the Articles of the Council of Europe, seek advice from a French Republican Constitutional Lawyer, He will steer you through the European Laws , which are flying around like Confetti at the wedding of the Damned. A silent protest outside the Court,would send a strong message to those who are sitting inside it, Where you stand on Principle depends ,entirely on where you sit. Regards. Flynn O Flynn

author by ADMIN - S2Spublication date Mon Nov 13, 2006 17:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell to Sea press statement, call for solidarity day on Nov 24th and plans for national rally Dec 2nd


Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by one of the men taken to hospital - sHELLto seapublication date Tue Nov 14, 2006 06:04author address 005author phone ooooooooReport this post to the editors

After being hospitalized for 4 days, I have to go back in for 3 or 4 more days due to injuries sustained by garda on Friday the 10th, injured back, I could not move my legs or feet for 3 days, no movement at all, tissue holden knee together is damaged to such a degree that I can't even walk, I just drag my legs with the crutches Thank god some one videoed the whole act of aggression against me . It was totally against the law of human rights, we'll be taking my case to the European high court.
I was just taken photos of a garda punching a young girl in the face, when I was leaving to go up home, which when all of a sudden I was unlawfully grab and kicked and thrown down a deep drain, hopefully I be OK in a few weeks but that won't stop me from going back to the peaceful protest , even if I have to crawl, no one has the legal right to throw you down a unknow deep bog drain with tree branches sticking up every were. I would like to thank all those who helped and saved me , also the great s2s people who ask if I was still alive, sea you soon....sHELLtosea.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie
author by Niall - Shell to Sea.publication date Wed Nov 15, 2006 13:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Members of GroundWork & The South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA) visited Mayo last Spring, to strenghten personal and political links in the chain network of communities around the world fighting Shell and Shell Governments. Desmond D'Sa outlines below about what they were doing on that fateful day, Friday November 10th 2006.


Hundreds of local community members blocked the Shell & BP (SAPREF) gates in south Durban today. The day of action was to remind Shell of its collusion with the Nigerian Regime in 1995 in the murder of our comrade, Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Oginis.

Dennis Brutus, well known Anti-Apartheid fighter who campaigned vigorously against sports being played in abnormal society participated the protest. Dennis stated that: ‘As a close Academic friend of Ken, Shell must be held accountable for the murder of Ken and his colleagues.’

Terence Conway, a resident from Rossport (Ireland), challenging Shell in Ireland stated: ‘After going on a Toxic Tour in south Durban and seeing and hearing the impact these oil refineries have on the local communities, I go back with the knowledge that people in South Africa and all over the world are standing united legitimately so as one to fight Shell.’

Children from local schools stated that: ‘they were sick and tired of only smelling Shell’s pollution.

A memorandum was handed over to Shell & BP (SAPREF), PRO, Lora Rossler, who stated that the memorandum will be sent to their International Office in The Hague for comment and response.
Memo below.

For further comment, please contact: Desmond D’Sa – 083 982 6939 / 031 461 1991


Handed to SHELL and BP Management in Durban South Africa
Date: Friday 10th November 2006


Shell’s abuses are recorded world wide in countries such as the Phillipines, Brazil, United States, Russia, Netherlands Antilles as well as Ireland, Nigeria and South Africa.

Some of theses human rights abuses include:
The dumping of toxic waste poisoning wells that are impacting the health of workers and community members in Brazil,
In the Philippines, Shell has manipulated local political bodies to allow the ongoing operation of a depot that poisons the surrounding air, water and soil,
Shell has attempted to absolve itself from socio-economic problems and negative health impacts including respiratory problems from the operation of an obsolete oil refinery in the Netherlands Antilles,
Shell has threatened to dramatically increase production of a refinery complex in Port Arthur, Texas, United States, which is known to be causing cardiovascular and respiratory damage to the community
In Russia, Shell’s construction threatens an endangered whale population with extinction and damages hundreds of wild salmon rivers and fisheries that indigenous and other communities depend on.


The Shell and BP Refinery (SAPREF) continues to emit toxic gases into the neighbouring community and continues to violate South African’s right to an environment that is not harmful to health and wellbeing.

SAPREF has not committed itself to an emissions reduction plans and strategies which will ensure that pollution reduction for the short and long term are considered.

SAPREF continues to violate maintenance workers right by employing them on a casual basis.

Local farmers who are neighbours of SAPREF have been threatened with evictions due to various expansions programs forward by ACSA and the Oil Companies in South Durban whose have been eyeing this prime piece of land..


Eleven years ago Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other activists from Ogoni were executed for placing pressure on Shell and the Nigerian government because of the environmental devastation caused on their homeland. In spite of the outcry over their execution, the conditions of the communities living near Shell’s operations are shocking. Food security has been undermined and destroyed because of polluted lands and water which prevent the planting of crops and the catching of fish from the rivers. People’s health has been impacted by the continued flaring of natural gas close to people’s homes. The vast amounts of gas flaring that take place in Nigeria are not only the biggest in the world, but the practice has contributed more to greenhouse gas emissions than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined.
A Nigerian High Court ordered the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (Shell Nigeria) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) stop gas flaring in the Niger Delta, as gas flaring violates guaranteed constitutional rights to life and dignity. Nevertheless, Shell plans to continue flaring until 2009.

Shell has demonstrated a blatant disregard for the Nigerian legal system and courts, and continue to relentlessly breech the human rights of communities in Nigeria.


Shell plans to build a high- pressure raw gas pipeline to an onshore processing facility in Rossport, County Mayo, Ireland. In spite of community resistancde to building on their properties, the State granted Shell Compulsory Access Orders and Compulsory Purchase Orders, and power to have them enforced against the community. In refusing access to their lands by Shell personnel, five local men were sent to jail for 94 days at the request of Shell.

The community of Rossport is concerned about the unprecedented nature of the high-pressure raw gas pipeline, which is not only exempt from planning law, but exempt from Irish Health and Safety regulations.


1. That in Durban, South Africa, Shell should develop and communicate a pollution reduction strategy with the representatives of the SDCEA and Groundwork who represent the local community within 6 months,. Further Shell’s recognition of the Community Liason Forum should cease immediately.

2. In Nigeria, Shell should cease working with the state immediately and see that human rights abuses against communities in the Niger Delta are stopped. That gas flaring is ceased immediately in accordance to the ruling of Nigeria’s courts and that a plan be put together within 3 months to clean up the many year’s pollution of rivers and soil and that this takes place in consultation with the people of the Niger Delta..

3. In Ireland, Shell should stop their development in the proposed sites for both refinery and pipeline and consult with the Irish People affected in a meaningful manner .Shell should stop their PR machinery and cease immediately to criminalize people’s right to peaceful protests.


We the communities gathered here today at Shell’s[SAPREF] gates state the Senior Executives of the company take us seriously as failure to listen will result in further protest.


Shell Deception is Short-Term. Justice and Truth Endure Forever.
Shell Deception is Short-Term. Justice and Truth Endure Forever.

Desmond D'Sa & Siziwe Khanyile visit Rossport Solidarity Camp.
Desmond D'Sa & Siziwe Khanyile visit Rossport Solidarity Camp.

Take Note Shell Governments/Cops: Not Imprisonment, Death or Violent Beatings can stop OUR ULTIMATE VICTORY.
Take Note Shell Governments/Cops: Not Imprisonment, Death or Violent Beatings can stop OUR ULTIMATE VICTORY.

Related Link: http://www.groundwork.org.za/
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