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Dublin Opinion >>

Lock on in front of Shell’s peat deposit site in Mayo

category mayo | environment | feature author Tuesday June 05, 2007 16:14author by Rossport Solidarity Camp Report this post to the editors

The Rossport Struggle Against A Lethal Pipeline Continues

featured image
Stop before it's too late.

Five people locked themselves together in front of the Sramore peat deposit site, used by Shell to deposit the peat from the Bellanaboy refinery site near Rossport. The Gardai arrived at 7.18. As of 7.20, they didn't know how to respond. The banner that the protestors hung across the road says: “Stop before it’s too late”. The five hour blockade of the gates of the shell plant in mayo this morning ended peacefully, with trucks prevented from entering or leaving until approximately midday.

The group of people used layered pipes and concrete to lock arms this morning. The fire brigade was called in to remove the protest. Five people are now being held in Belmullet garda station , as of yet no one has been charged and supporters have made their way to Belmullet to show solidarity with those being detained. There are no reports of any injuries, although a medic supporting the protestors is reported to have been dragged by the hair.

At 7.34 a second Garda van arrived.

At 7. 37, Garda MY 23 gave a warning, that this was private property and to get off the road. Garda MY 165 is filming.

At 7.38, a third Garda Car arrived, meaning there are currently 15 Gardai here, with MY 161 taking photos and Superintendant Gannon in charge.

7.41 Gannon has removed the banner. All the lower ranking cops are calm, he seems irate – they have been informed of the risks of attempting to unlock people. Media contact and for confirmation: Caoimhe087 7564750..DETAILED UPDATE: Inspector Gannon: "Peaceful my arse you cunt" UPDATE 14 JUN 2007: The court date of the five has been adjourned to 11 JUL 2007

author by RSCpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 08:12Report this post to the editors

7.45 – It was read out to the Gardai that moving the protestors’ arms will break them. The Gardai will need to call the Fire Brigade to get them out. Imediately after, it was made clear their numbers have been taken and passed on. One of the Gardai asked if they were being threatened.
7.55 – A number of supporters from the local area have now arrived.
8.05 - 26 Gardai are now present, trying to move the protestors. They’re moving all the supporters from the area, dragging many by the hair.
8.07 – Five Gardai have forcibly removed the protestors’ medic, dragging him by the hair, with one landing upon him with a knee.

author by observerpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 09:26Report this post to the editors

On news at 8.3opm. If there is a chance get more banners and placards - a task for the locals.

author by RSCpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 09:34Report this post to the editors

9.19 - Five Garda vans and two Garda cars now present.
9.25 - Fire brigade arrived.
9.30 - Fire brigade begins to cut through the tubes.

author by RSCpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:08Report this post to the editors

9.45 - One of the Gardai approached one of the supporters, and said to another Guard, but obviously for the supporter's benefit - "One of the girls is going to need stitching on their arm." We think this is just an attempt to intimidate, but watch this space. The supporters are now forced back a good distance from the protestors, with their view blocked by the fire engine and police.
9.55 - A Garda with a camera followed a supporter to a bush, as he went to the toilet. The Garda filmed the whole event, informing him kindly - "You're urinating in a public place. It's an offence and I've recorded it."!

author by Supporterpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:08Report this post to the editors

Excellent timing and a hopeful reminder to the Greens that the Corrib Gas Project must be on the list of more serious issues to be discussed today with Fianna Fail. Any press interviews must draw attention to this. Now top pf the news on RTE Radio 1 at 9am. It seems banners and placards and white Ogoni crosses are more powerful than S2S may have ever hoped.

author by lobbypublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:16Report this post to the editors

Suggest a protest presence in Dublin at the Green Headquarters in Dublin and keep it there until talks with FF are over.

author by RSCpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 11:45Report this post to the editors

11.11 - Five protestors still locked on. They have now been there for over four hours. A crowd of around 30 locals have gathered to support.

author by marypublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 13:02Report this post to the editors

The fire brigade has been called in to remove the protest.
5 people being held in Belmullet garda station after a very Successful action which closed the plant for 5 hours, people reported to be in high spirits no charges have been made yet, supporters have made their way to belmullet to offer support to those detained.
No reports of any injuries.

author by Bikerpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 15:54Report this post to the editors

Why are the Fire Brigade co-operating with the gardaí in this - I mean the fire brigade workers and their trade union representatives. If the gardaí want to use the fire brigade's equipment then the fire brigade personell can't do much about that but they can refuse to be used as a tool of the Shell Corporation. A bit of solidarity is badly required here. Fire staff should put their feet down and tell the guards, "here, take the keys to the fire engines, do your own dirty work". There are no lives at risk here (other than the safety of the protesters, therefore the fire brigade have no role here". Time to lobby the fire bridade union for a bit of solidarity - they might need it sometime too.

author by pat cpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 15:58Report this post to the editors

There are lifes at risk. While the Firefighters are busy doing Shells dirty work a fire could start elsewhere. This couldn't under any stretch of the imagination be regarded as Fire Brigade work. And the Fire Brigade is under no obligation to hand any equipment over to the Gardaí, it could be required by the FB itself.

author by 68publication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 16:32Report this post to the editors

"Time to lobby the fire bridade union for a bit of solidarity - they might need it sometime too."

they have, its not too long ago they were striking themselves!

It is worth getting in touch with their union though, they don't tend to take orders from gardai and as a unionised workers group are quite strong. You need only look to the solidarity shown to the FBU for proof of that.

Rural stations tend to be run by part-timers though, unlike in Dublin.

author by R.Isiblepublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 16:39Report this post to the editors

See link at bottom of this post. A good video explaining part of the strategy of Dublin S2S points out that it's very easy for Shell (and the Gardai) to get away with a lot of thuggery in Mayo.

W.r.t. the firemen, I remember being surprised the first time I heard reports of the fire brigade being stoned or shot at in urban areas, but they're not very careful about preserving their independence from the police and are seen as legitimate targets by some as a result. Hopefully no one died or was injured due to their absence from their proper duties while they were busy helping end the protest.

Related Link: https://www.indymedia.ie/article/82893?&condense_commen...96629
author by pat cpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 17:36Report this post to the editors

It looks if they would be members of this SIPTU Branch:

Mayo No. 2 Branch
Moneen Road, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.
Tel: 094-9022812 Fax: 094-9024883
E-mail: mayo2@siptu.ie

The Branch Organiser is Noel Kilfeather.

He is supported by Martina Weir, Assistant Organiser, and Breda Snee, Administrative Assistants.

The major employments in the Branch are:

ISS Ireland Ltd.
Campbell Catering
Baxter Healthcare Ltd.
Mayo County Council

Could also complain to the Chief Fire Officer asking who was providing cover while the FB were doing Shells dirty work.

Seamus Murphy Chief Fire Officer,
Fire Station
Humbert Way,

(094)902 12 11


author by updatepublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 18:58Report this post to the editors

the protestors who stopped the peat haulage for a time today will appear before judge devins in two weeks time on public order offfences.

"Gardaí and fire service personnel with specialist cutting equipment spent several hours removing demonstrators from the entrance to a Bord na Móna depot in North Mayo today.

The Shell to Sea campaigners linked themselves together in a sit-down protest blocking the removal of peat from the Corrib Gas terminal for four hours.

All five - four women and one man- were arrested and taken to Belmullet Garda Station where they were charged with public order offences.

They are due to appear in court in two weeks' time."


author by Cradlepublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 20:13Report this post to the editors

From the full report from the scene it appears the Shell to Sea people told the garda to get the fire brigade. Well at least said the only way to move them would be that....presumbly in preferance to some half arsed and dangerous attempt by the Garda and/or Shell workers to remove the lock ons. Therefore you could say that the Fire Brigade were acting in the interests of public safety, and so complaining to them would not be appropriate. According to the full report the behaviour of the firemen was sound.

author by St.Johnpublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 20:19Report this post to the editors

Great action, and fair play to everyone concerned!

Hope this indicates a step-up in action on the campaign, much needed...now it's up to the rest of us to continue this, both in Mayo and where-ever we are...

author by Melcork - s2spublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 20:36Report this post to the editors

Great Job Lads! I see some familiar faces getting some sun on a lovely June day! You must have some seriously sore arms. Wish I were there.


author by andy hemroid - s2spublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 20:46Report this post to the editors

rte's take

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0605/corrib.html
author by Cheif big troublepublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 20:59Report this post to the editors

the protestors will appear in court on the same day as the rossport 3 are to appear again.
I think this stunt wont help their cause.

author by Feykopublication date Tue Jun 05, 2007 23:56Report this post to the editors

Well done!! Keep on going!

author by Jedd - stspublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 10:14author address rscReport this post to the editors

If the irish people of were directly benefiting from revenue created byt these offshore fields there would be no need to protest.
Our health service would be the best in the world , our schools would be the best in the world , our transport infrastructure would be second to none , and our social welfare system would be in the position to hand out additional payments to the needy. Young people would not have to leave the country to seek work.

author by bemusedpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 13:55Report this post to the editors

"If the irish people of were directly benefiting from revenue created byt these offshore fields there would be no need to protest."

why call yourselfs shell to sea if what your real problem is givaway of natural resources?
dempsy has stated in a letter to mayo Co Co that the deal will not be renegotiated (this weeks mayo echo).

author by jedd - stspublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 14:08Report this post to the editors


The truth is that Shell to Sea is not an organisation but a loosely networked campaign comprising many disparate elements. However, it is rooted in a community of decent, law-abiding people, supported by many throughout the country.

There are many different objectives with in this grouping and we reserve the right to protest over a number of issues which directly or indirectly affects the people of our country.

author by name change?publication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 14:51Report this post to the editors

maybe a name change would be an idea as S2S implies the campaign is to get shell "to sea".

author by concernedpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 17:15Report this post to the editors

To Biker, pat c and all who seem to think the fire service were doing any kind of dirty work for anyone should check with their own protesters as to what the protesters requested should happen, before making untrue commets on comment pages. the fire service is an emergency and RESCUE service.
so please if you want to comment on the work of the fire service let it be the TRUTH.

author by Caoimhe - Dublin Shell to Sea per cappublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 20:02Report this post to the editors

Just in relation to the comments re the fire brigade.

I was there yesterday, and quite frnakly was releived when we were told that the fire brigade were on their way, as Gardai had seriously been considering trying to physically move the people locked on. This would have resulted in their arms broken or dislocated,

According to the five people locked on, the fire brigade were treated them kindly, providing them with sun screan (v hot day), giving them water etc. They also apparantly kept the guards in line at times and

After what I witnessed yesterday, if I was locked on, I would much prefer the Fire brigade to be dealing with me than the Gardai. The Fire Brigade will not put you in any danger and are much more concerned with safety than the guards.

Also I think that it is important to remember that a lot of fire people in those very rural areas are volunteers. I don't know that it is helpful to critise them for their role yesterday.

author by Bangor Local - .publication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 20:38Report this post to the editors

Typical stunt organized and executed by the so called Dublin shelltosea, all a bit of fun, just for a laugh, sure its only mayo; we will be out of here in a few hours. That’s fine but we live here and we are sick to the back teeth of these antics being supposedly carried out in solidarity with the people of mayo. As far as I am concerned shell to sea and its so called legions of followers who are not from the area can go to hell you are not welcome in mayo.

author by Mayo localpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 21:26Report this post to the editors

Just wanted to say that S2S supporters are always very welcome in mayo.
Welldone on your peaceful protest yesterday.

author by Boru - Mayo Personpublication date Wed Jun 06, 2007 21:55Report this post to the editors

I second that!
Political actavists are always welcome in Mayo. Religious and Political Freedom, Truth and Justice - Yeah, we still believe in these and most Mayo people would regard these highly!
Well done to all and hope the court goes well for ye! Wonder wil ye get an order forbidding ye from staying in Mayo or interfering with the Shell pipline works in any way?
Damien Dempsey lyrics for comfort:
"The battlefield, it rages on,
Heart against mind, the mean versus kind,
Small stones cause huge waves"

Saoirse agus gra

author by Neil - -publication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 13:14Report this post to the editors

Where has john monaghan gone ?
Has he stepped down or has he been pushed out as spokesperson ?

author by R. Isiblepublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 13:28Report this post to the editors

The initial reports made it sound like they were acting in a hostile manner, so it's nice to hear that they behaved in a helpful, humane and professional manner. Must have been very disappointing for Supt. "Cunt" Gannon. It sounds as though he could do with whatever training the fire brigade got. Still though, the best thing would have been to allow the protestors to remain peacefully as they were.

author by E Ó Mpublication date Thu Jun 07, 2007 17:08Report this post to the editors

I'm not sure there is any Shell to Sea "policy" as such. Of course there are the six demands of the campaign, which you will find on this site and elsewhere, but beyond that, Shell to Sea doesn't exist as an entity like a political party or a campaign group, with a "party line".

author by Ken - supporterpublication date Fri Jun 08, 2007 23:26Report this post to the editors

Hey there good people of Mayo. Ken here from Pallaskenry. It's so sad to see that ye are still having to protect yer lands and yer families from multinationals like SH HELL. From the last few comments it seems like someone is trying to stir it up abit. Do not take your eye of the ball with the real issue. It is good to see that there is still a lot of support out there. It definately is down here. We very much appreciate yer calls and notes of support to us in our fight to RETAIN our SPRING WATER in Pallaskenry and Kildimo. We like yourselves have to put up with the backstabers and fence siters. But we will keep on with what we have to do in order to Protect the health and wellbeing of our families and children into the future.
With regards to the Fire Brigade being called to the scene, I understand that they did behave in a professional manner, unlike supperintendant gannon and his cronnies in the past. Maybe they need to attend some more training to understand what their duties are in this country of ours, SERVE THE PEOPLE NOT THE MULTINATIONALS.
Keep up the fight and good luck.

author by Well wisherpublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 20:45Report this post to the editors

Did ye know, the bog is gone?

The men working in Sramore have been told that the job will be finished on the 22nd of June....

2 years ago the bog in bellanaboy was estimated to be around half a million tonnes. When operations ceased in Oct 05 150,000 tonnes had been moved leaving around 350,000 tonnes.

Well, owing to 2 very dry summers, the weight of the bog has reduced considerably. Far more peat is being removed by volume and as a consequence, it's gone!

That dirty big terminal is coming, like it or not...

author by tompublication date Sat Jun 09, 2007 22:27Report this post to the editors

just like to say well done all those brave people who were involved.
Right is on your side , win or loose good on you.
you deserve ..........................to win.
those who cant see the truth and the reality of the situation need
to step back and look at the facts.
shell are not a nice company , the state forses have on many occasions
acted above the law including assaulting protestors.
the government is not acting in the best interests of irish people,
by forcing an unwanted refinery on a community that does not want it and by the give away of the natural resourse.

so well done all those activists who contiune to be a thorn in the side of the 'beast'
you are an ispiration to us all.

author by dunkpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 01:57author email fuspey at yahoo dot co dot ukReport this post to the editors

bringing the story to the wider audience...

people at the g8 in Germany did a blockade of a shell station, about 60-70 people participated, it was covered on g8 imc-radio live with one of the rossport crew explaining why they did what they did and what the situation is in rossport.

that was mentioned as it happened here:

The final radio podcast from flashradio, which was a hourlong show put out every night by the imc-team over there, contained a summary of the rossport situation.

have not seen any reports of shell occupation on imc-de, uk, or others yet, hopefully the irish lads after settlign back and resting a bit will post.

The last day of g8 action 2 years ago in scotland also saw a shell station being occupied, it was clowns and mermaids then: operation splish, splash, splosh

rossport abu

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