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Rossport Five vindicated by High Court ruling

category mayo | miscellaneous | news report author Wednesday April 18, 2007 19:45author by Bill Poster - Dublin Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Pipeline route now defunct, Shell to pay legal costs

Very good news for Shell to Sea from the High Court today.

* The stance of the Rossport Five and Brid McGarry has been legally vindicated.
* The original pipeline route through Rossport is now defunct.
* Shell will have to pay the €1 million costs, including those of the Rossport landowners.
Broadhaven Bay
Broadhaven Bay

In a nutshell, Shell was applying to drop the permanent injunction against several local landowners. They had dropped the interlocutory (temporary) injunction in September 2005 - they dropped that in order to get the five men out of jail, as having the men in jail was doing Shell so much harm. Since then they have been trying to drop the permanent injunction.

But the local landowners said, you can't just drop the injunction as though it never meant anything - some of us went to jail as a result of that injunction. Justice Mary Laffoy's ruling today agrees with that standpoint and imposes conditions on the dropping of the injunction, including:

* CAOs (Compulsory Acquisition Orders) be dropped against landowners along the pipeline route. This means that the original pipeline route is now formally and legally defunct. The only way it could go ahead is with the consent of the landowners.

* Shell pick up the legal costs associated with the injunction. The Rossport Five are still liable for the costs associated with their contempt of court, but these are marginal. And for Shell to pursue these would be highly vindictive and an extremely bad PR move.

The ruling also means that the stance taken by the Rossport Five and Brid McGarry is now legally vindicated. To say they are vindicated is no longer an ideological position. It is now a legal position.

A further blow for Shell is that the company hoped that other legal matters which were raised during all the proceedings (arising from counterclaims made against Shell by the landowners) would be dispensed with. This has NOT happened. Justice Laffoy ruled that there are issues of "public law" still to be considered.

It can said that Shell abused the injunction process. They took out an injunction against five people, had them jailed on the foot of that injunction, and then tried to drop the injunction.

This is good news in lots of ways. Bu one potential negative outcome to be aware of might be that this will add to the notion, spun by Shell and government, that the honest decent folks who went to jail over a pipeline was one issue, which has now been resolved, and that there are then separate issues being dragged out by people who just won't let the past be the past and who are determined to oppose everything about the project (e.g. small things like a refinery and a gas giveaway) because they are extremists...

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by m.m.mccarron - o.s.i.publication date Wed Apr 18, 2007 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am so grateful that you shared this news with us all so quickly. It makes every day at the High Court worth the hardship.No one can ever undo the unfairness meted out to the Rossport 5.

author by Supporter - Shell to Seapublication date Wed Apr 18, 2007 19:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Rossport Five’s position vindicated
Dr Mark Garavan (NUI Seanad candidate)
April 18th, 2007

Today’s judgement of the High Court that Shell’s application to drop their
application for a permanent injunction be granted subject to costs on this issue
being awarded to the local landowners and that CAOs against the landowners
involved be dropped is a welcome and significant development in the Corrib gas

This decision amounts to a complete vindication of the stance taken by the
Rossport Five in 2005. The pipeline that the men objected to cannot now be
continued with. The injunction under which the men were imprisoned has now been
withdrawn by Shell. Legal questions to do with the pipeline and wider project
remain before the High Court. It must now be clear to all fair minded observers
that a great wrong has been done by Shell to the men, their families and the
community of North Mayo.

The Rossport Five should never have been imprisoned.
However, these actions by Shell are symptomatic of the disordered nature of the
Corrib gas project which, unfortunately, is still proceeding. That project needs
to be discontinued and a full, independent review conducted to determine the
optimum development model for Corrib based on community consent. Shell’s refusal
to do this merely underlines their continued indifference to the community
affected by their proposed project.

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Niall - Shell to Seapublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 10:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congratulations to the Rossport Five and to Bríd McGarry.

I think it's important to acknowledge especially the intense hard work and energy given to this legal process by Brendan Philbin and Bríd McGarry to achieve this breakthrough. Well done to them and their legal team.

Justice Mary Laffoy has proved herself here to be able to discern ... and to judge.

Lesson learned: Stay focused and the breakthroughs will come.

author by Etain - Shell To Seapublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 14:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great news! It is only a matter of time, before shell are sent packing out of Bellanaboy, well done!
There is hope for environmental policy making in Ireland . Long may it continue!!!!!

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by chrissiepublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 16:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

they shld get huge compensatoin & Shell shld pay for the water pollution! God bless em for their resistance!

author by The Eskimo - ballinrobe friends of s2spublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Congrats to all those who stuck to their guns. You have won a deserved victory. i have no doubt but before long we will need an extra chapter to your book - "Our story". Well done

author by Jack Doyle - New Route publication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 17:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all. But can anybody tell me by what route SHELL now propose to bring the pipeline to the terminal site ?

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 17:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Did this get onto the news last night can anyone tell me ? Great news for all concerned, I agree with Niall to stay focussed and I would add watch the detail, law is far too important to be left to lawyers, but fair play to the good ones,

Fair play to all ! In the words of the Spanish woman and anti facist fighter whose name I can't recall "You are history, you are legend ".
And I do'nt think that is an overstatement for activists and citizens who are involved in this campaign.

author by m.m.mccarron - o.s.ipublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Once the news came through in Indymedia I have listened to 6 pm and 9pm news, to Drivetime yesterday and I am now listening to that of today as well as to most of the TV news bulletins.And to the talk shows in between. I have not heard one reference to the case which if the Irish Times could get it for the fine account today, then there must be an embargo on it in RTE. After all the Rossport 5 topped the Turbidy popularity poll some time ago so the story in not distant or unimportant to the public of Ireland. I hope someone can assure me that I missed coverage but it is nowhere to be heard from where I am listening. Thanks for the comment.

author by Mick Butlerpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 21:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many thanks for that ,it is shocking. What to do ? The Montrose people should be named and shamed, lacerated in fact,it it plain that the pressure is coming on them but to expose same through some form of admission on their part seems possible.

author by realitypublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what are you on about?
shell went to court to discontuine their legal action against the rossport residents.
Shell won the case and were allowed to discontuine the proceedings.
The costs were awarded against them, which is no surprise as it is they who wants to discontuine .
also no mention onRTE of the summons that has been served on the O,Donnell's of S2S.

author by Jackpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 22:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mc Dowell says he is prepared not to enter govt. if the Poolbeg incinerator goes ahead.
If he is min. for justice at the time permission is granted will he set the cops on local protestors?
Will he don the jackboots in Dublin like he does in Mayo?
Contrast his support for his constituents with that of the forelock-tugging sheep t.ds. in Mayo -
Ring (baa!) Kenny (baader!) etc. etc.
Only Cowley, like him or not, has balls.

author by ex-tdpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 22:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Only Cowley, like him or not, has balls."
He might have balls, but he wont be a TD after the election, (thanks to S2S)

author by Jillpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 23:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

He may/may not have a seat but he will still have his integrity and dignity.
Which would you rather lose?
A few sitting t.ds. stand to lose all three.

author by Jacqueline Fallonpublication date Thu Apr 19, 2007 23:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well those conditions attached to the dropping of the injunction were a slap on the hand for Shell dána, and should teach them a lesson not to be messing about with injunctions, and far more importantly, with Irish people's lives. Shell thought the Rossport five's protest would easily be overcome with an injunction and imprisonment, not foreseeing the public outcry there would be at seeing Irish landowners imprisoned for protecting their lands and their families' health from a Shell high pressure pipeline. Congratulations to the Rossport 5!

Comhghairdeas daoibh!

author by Chris McCabepublication date Fri Apr 20, 2007 19:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's a disgrace from RTE to ignore this result - give them your opinions! We hafta make sure this whole issue doesn't get ignored. See yez there!

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