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Face off in Pollathomais: a report on the last two days events.

category mayo | environment | feature author Tuesday June 12, 2007 22:42author by Bob Report this post to the editors

featured image
Gardaí force digger through to pier

Yesterday afternoon Gardai violently removed protesters attempting to stop the illegal instalment of a Shell portacabin on the land of publican Paddy McGrath near Pollathomais, Co Mayo (see initial newswire report of the assault). This afternoon a letter from Mr McGrath's solicitors giving persons responsible for the cabin until 2pm to move it, advising that the failure to do so would result in an injunction. A full report on events of the last two days follows.

At approximately three o clock yesterday afternoon, an excavator and a jeep towing a metal portacabin arrived at McGrath’s pub Pollathomais accompanied by a number of Gardai and attempted to enter onto land belonging to the pub owners. They told Mr McGrath they were going to place the portacabin down by the pier on what is his land, accessing through a private roadway. No prior contact had been made with the landowners about this. It was put to Mr McGrath as a statement rather than a request and when he asked who wanted it installed and why he received no answer.

They insisted that the council had given permission for the portacabin to be installed and that the pier was public facility, ignoring the fact that they were trying to move it through Mr McGrath’s land and intended to place it on his land. As far as Mr McGrath was concerned, he was perfectly within his legal rights to refuse access and received legal advice to that effect.

A crowd of Shell to Sea campaigners, friends and neighbours began to gather, as did an ever increasing number of Guards and Garda vehicles. Before long a crowd of around fifty to sixty locals had gathered along with perhaps thirty to forty Gardai in a paddy wagons, jeeps and cars. At about five o clock, two Garda boats and another vessel came up Sruthwaddacon estuary and stopped at Pollathomais pier. A vehicle belonging to Erris Shell to Sea-er Maura Harrington, parked near the gate and in front of the digger, was towed recklessly and without consent. Members of the Gardai cut the bolt which Mr McGrath had placed on his gateway through which the police intended to access the pier.

At this point it became clear that they were intending to force their way through without the consent of the landowners or members of the community present and some of the crowd climbed on top of the JCB and others sat in the bucket. A large portion of the crowd had gathered inside the gate and they stepped up to hold it shut at this point. The protesters occupying the digger were removed by police who proceeded to form a scrum to force the gate open, when this proved too difficult, Supt Gannon waved the driver of the JCB forward and instructed him to use the machine to force the gate open. This incredibly dangerous and reckless manoeuvre caused the crowd to be trapped between the gate and a high embankment with no room to escape.

featured image
Paddy McGrath informs the Guards they are attempting to enter private property

Even after forcing the gate open the protestors showed spirited resistance, one managing to climb into the bucket of the digger and another onto the portacabin being pulled by the jeep; the drivers continued down the roadway regardless. Others attempted to block the vehicles by lying down in front of them or climbing on top of them. The policing of the situation was vigorous even by the standards Shell to Sea protestors have unfortunately become accustomed to, with many members of the crowd suffering injuries.

Rossport resident John Monahan was arrested for an alleged assault on a Guard whom he had attempted to save from falling down an embankment, who promptly began punching Mr Monaghan in the face. This same policeman was earlier witnessed behaving in a very aggressive manner with other protesters. Eventually the portacabin was placed beside the pier at the bottom of the McGrath's roadway. A large portion of the crowd remained throughout the evening as did a heavy Garda presence. It is interesting to note the continuing reluctance of the Gardai to arrest anyone apart from certain individuals who they very obviously target for their perceived strategic value to the campaign.

This morning, from about six o clock onwards a crowd began to reappear at the gate. The police presence then became more visible, with one group of Guards blocking the McGrath's roadway and preventing people from walking it; a curious practise seeing as the previous day they had argued that it was a public right of way and they therefore had the right to access it. Among those barred was a woman looking for a pair of glasses which had been lost the day before. This did not stop people from using the real right of way which is located a little closer to the pub to get to the pier.

A van driven by one of the Marine Gardai attempted to drive down onto the pier and was blocked by a crowd. Before the Guards could resume the violence of the previous day, Mr McGrath walked down to the pier and attached a solicitors letter to the portacabin to the effect that it was on his land illegally and if it were not removed before two o clock that day an injunction would be sought to remove it. From this point on the Garda presence seemed to decrease, with the unmarked van pulling off after approximately an hour. Shell to Sea campaigners have been maintaining a presence at the site of these events all through the day. The threat of legal action prompted Shell to action and later in the evening Shell representative John Cronin visited the McGraths promising that the illegal cabin would be moved by the morning.

featured image
Police boats approach the pier near Pollathomais

The events of the past forty eight hours have been yet another example of how hollow talk of “community consultation” rings in relation to the Corrib gas project. There was certainly no consultation with the landowners, nor were they even done the common courtesy of being asked if their land could be accessed or even told who it was that the portacabin facility was to be installed for. Nor was there any consultation with the people in the Pollathomais area or the wider community. Once again, the Erris residents are being railroaded and trampled upon without explanation or apology. Unfortunately, the metaphorical trampling of their rights is now accompanied by the physical trampling of their bodies by a police force who seem to be embracing their role as a strongarm gang for corporate interests with more and more relish.

It is expected that many of those who came out to support their neighbours today and yesterday will be attending the RPS meeting tonight in Belmullet, where possible new pipeline routes will be “revealed“. Although the purpose of the portacabin at Pollathomais pier is still a mystery, it is widely believed that it is connected to attempts to survey the Pollathomais area for suitability as a pipeline route.

A digger under Garda escourt approaches the locked gates on Monday evening.
A digger under Garda escourt approaches the locked gates on Monday evening.

Protesters sit in the digger bucket.
Protesters sit in the digger bucket.

author by Bobpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:04Report this post to the editors

-

Police use bolt cutters to open the gate.
Police use bolt cutters to open the gate.

The gates are forced open.
The gates are forced open.

Protesters climb on the digger.
Protesters climb on the digger.

Gardai attempt to remove protesters from the digger.
Gardai attempt to remove protesters from the digger.

The digger is driven through the crowd.
The digger is driven through the crowd.

author by Bobpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:10Report this post to the editors

-

Police try to pull Willie Corduff off the digger.
Police try to pull Willie Corduff off the digger.

The digger hoists the illegal portacabin into place.
The digger hoists the illegal portacabin into place.

Gardai guard the digger
Gardai guard the digger

Banner on the pier tonight.
Banner on the pier tonight.

Solicitors letter posted on the illegal cabin.
Solicitors letter posted on the illegal cabin.

author by Green Party Memberpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 22:09author email info at greenparty dot ieauthor phone +353 (0)1 6790012Report this post to the editors

'That the GP in government will not approve of a production pipeline
consent being signed as part of the Corrib gas project until the
completion of a full, independant review into the best development concept for
the project.'

Please call on fellow Green Party members to uphold their obligations and maintain their roots.

tsargent@greenparty.ie; johngormley@eircom.net; eamon.ryan@oireachtas.ie; pgogarty@oireachtas.ie; Ciaran@CiaranCuffe.Com; marywhite@oceanfree.net; datldo@eircom.net; dobearra@eircom.net; chrisol@iol.ie; dominickdonnelly@eircom.net; cllrlburke@eircom.net; clarkeneil@eircom.net; bronwen@eircom.net; info@tomkivlehan.com; nchilders@eircom.net; cfallon@cllr.dlrcoco.ie, kireland@cllr.dlrcoco.ie; joecorr@eircom.net; robert.kelly@fingalcoco.ie; verdire@eircom.net; heidibedell@eircom.net; bgogarty@sdublincoco.ie; tonymcdermott@dublin.ie; niallob@esatclear.ie; jjpower@eircom.net; sfitzgerald@greenparty.ie; malnoonan@eircom.net; mark.dearey@gmail.com; vpmartin@eircom.net; cbdoran@eircom.net; deburcad@gofree.indigo.ie; tsimpson@ireland.com

others

http://www.greenparty.ie/en/people

Keep it real
Keep it real

Related Link: http://www.greenparty.ie
author by cynicpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 23:14Report this post to the editors

if the greens abondand S2S like they have shannon, what then?
besides I thought it will no longer need goverment consent just PP from an board phelenna, maybe the greens thought of this when they commited themself!
anybody know the facts on it will it need goverment consent or just PP?

author by GPwatchpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 23:27Report this post to the editors

The Greens are now part of this right wing pro big business government of FF and the PDs. They value their careers and their arses in Mercs and Senate seats more then a local community fighting for their rights against one of the largest multi nationals. It's time to write off the Greens as any kind of real alternative in my opinion.

author by Jackpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 00:18Report this post to the editors

The solidarity shown by the people of Rossport is inspiring in this age of mé féiners.
The guards and Shell/RPS will be humiliated when the portacabin is forced to be removed.
As for the Greens - let's wait and see. They can't betray so much and still be credible.

author by Red Tito - CYMpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 00:53Report this post to the editors

Shell To Sea!

Shell To Hell!
Shell To Hell!

Related Link: http://CYM-BEBO.bebo.com
author by Jackpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:07Report this post to the editors

If the guards forcibly entered private property without a proper warrant then
they have committed criminal damage and trespass.
Under these illegal circumstances they will have also committed assault.
If the portacabin is removed it will be an admission of such.
Has the garda commissioner now adopted the position of 'to hell with the law -
just get the job done'?
Where does Michael Ring stand on guards breaking the law?

author by tnc - tnc corcaípublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:17Report this post to the editors

Shell reportedly set to reveal alternative routes for Corrib pipeline
12th June 2007
By Clare Watson
Anglo-Dutch oil titan Royal Dutch Shell is attempting to appease local communities' anger over its planned gas pipeline from the Corrib field, by revealing up to eight alternative routes, RTE News has reported.

Shell's plans to build a pipeline from its offshore well on the Corrib gas field in County Mayo to its planned refinery at Bellanaboy have faced local resistance since they were announced. Now, with the revelation of a number of other possible routes, the oil giant is hoping to be able to proceed with its development without further protests.
Advertisement

However, according to the Irish website Midlands 103, the plans for alternative routes have been drawn up by a consultancy firm employed by Shell Ireland, which has estimated that Shell will still need to obtain the consent of up to 200 landowners, depending on the route the pipeline will take.

According to RTE, local resistance to the plans continued, even amid rumors that Shell is to reveal alternative routes. A man was arrested for trying to stop Shell sub-contractors from erecting a security cabin on the eve of the expected announcement.

This is not the first time that arrests have been made over the issue, as, according to RTE, a number of men were imprisoned for three months in 2005 for their part in major protests. The opponents claimed that the pipeline would compromise the safety of local inhabitants.

Although it is thought that Shell will invite the public to comment on the alternative routes, the Irish publication said that those against the scheme remain skeptical about the possibility of reaching an agreement with Shell.

Related Link: http://www.energy-business-review.com/article_news.asp?...A3F26
author by The eskimo - s2spublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:43Report this post to the editors

i have a feeling that shell actually want the protestors, and their protests to continue. This is evident from the way in which peolpe are being provoked regularly. i suggest the s2s now adopt a totally peaceful attitude of turning the other cheek, no confrontation with gardai, etc, let them do what they want. it may surprise us all with regard to what will happen then.

author by Angrypublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:59Report this post to the editors

With no windows and a smashed down door.

author by Sean Mallory - WSM (pers cap)publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:11Report this post to the editors

Eskimo said
"i have a feeling that shell actually want the protestors, and their protests to continue. This is evident from the way in which peolpe are being provoked regularly. i suggest the s2s now adopt a totally peaceful attitude of turning the other cheek, no confrontation with gardai, etc, let them do what they want. it may surprise us all with regard to what will happen then"

Shell do not want protests it has delayed them years so far and damaged their corporate image something they value. If we stop they might be shocked alright but they wont stop - they will continue building unabaited then. You can't win this because we were more "gentlemanly". They do not care how righteous we are this will not win for us. Grinding them to a halt will. Secondly Shell to Sea has a peaceful attitude. When someone hits you it does not make you violent .

author by dam.publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:14Report this post to the editors

applause to the bravery,solidarity and ingenious quick thinking of all involved in yesterdays protest.it was a brilliant example of how to turn a negative event into a positive community response while ceasing the opportunity to expose the bad behaviour of shell and their hired state muscle.the portacabin will be removed and how embarassing is that gonna be?
somebody should organise a party to coincide with that as every victory no matter how small should be celebrated to consolidate solidarity.

i would have no faith in the possibility that shells proposed alternative routes will be any less contraversial or painful for the community.i suspect alternatives will be proposed in an attempt to divide the local community and objectors by putting forward proposals that will present an either or scenario in an attempt to have locals engage in a process of choice that may result in a negative outcome for sections of the community while shell gives the public appearance of not only engaging in consultation with the community but as some kind of honest broker in the community,a bit like the way the Brits and Irish governments manipulated the peace process.

keep up the good work and remember an injury to one is an injury to all.

author by The eskimopublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:32Report this post to the editors

Sean said :

Shell do not want protests it has delayed them years so far and damaged their corporate image something they value.

Response : shell do not value their corporate image-this is obvious !

If we stop they might be shocked alright but they wont stop - they will continue building unabaited then.

Response : you agree that shell might be shocked. why not shock them ? or are you really for them ?

You can't win this because we were more "gentlemanly". They do not care how righteous we are this will not win for us. Grinding them to a halt will.

Response : We have not ground them to a halt currently. we need to though, we agree on this.

Secondly Shell to Sea has a peaceful attitude. When someone hits you it does not make you violent .

Response : you are the one who mentioned the word violent. not i. wonder why that is ? however please remember that when the gardai engage with the protestors we have ready made footage of " trouble " beamed around the homes of ireland by jim fahy & co. in a few hours, thats the end result. so we can't allow s2s to be exposed to that negative publicity any longer if we really wish to promote that we have a peaceful attitude.

author by Innuitpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:32Report this post to the editors

Eskimo wrote:
i have a feeling that shell actually want the protestors, and their protests to continue.

Innuit replies: that's based on what? They have at every turn hoped to provoke the locals and their supporters into violence, by pushing, beating, trespassing, damaging property... they want to discredit and dishearten the campaign, by lies, intimidation, psychological warfare and downright thuggish behaviour. Yesterday's action and last weeks lock on both show how shell and shells cops have failed to do this. Despite the actions of RPS and the cops - assault, trespass, criminal damage, breach of the peace - the campaigners bahaved in a very dignified manner.

Eskimo wrote:
This is evident from the way in which peolpe are being provoked regularly.

Innuit replies : that's the opposite of the logical conclusion, methinks.

Eskimo wrote:
i suggest the s2s now adopt a totally peaceful attitude of turning the other cheek, no confrontation with gardai, etc, let them do what they want. it may surprise us all with regard to what will happen then.

Innuit replies :
It's not the campaigners who need lessons in being peaceful. With the attitude of the Gardai up there, "turning the other cheek" will get you slapped on both sides of the face. Avoiding confrontation with the Gardai etc, when they come on to your own land is absurd.
Non-violent non-cooperation is frustrating these heavy handed goons. I'm sure it's wearing them down morally inside as well. Fair play to S2S for their courage and dignity.

author by Sean Mallory - Workers Solidarity Movement(pers cap)publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 12:54Report this post to the editors


Response : shell do not value their corporate image-this is obvious !

Shell clearly care about there corporate image why else did they butter up the popiulation and wait til they had them won over before launching their assault on erris - baecause they are worried people might think of them in a negative way, hence they care about their image.

Response : you agree that shell might be shocked. why not shock them ? or are you really for them

Yes Eskimo you have me my pseudonym is Sean Mallory I work for Shell and in my spare time am a member of an anarchist organisation who oppose Shell.
Eskimo I have no interest in just shocking Shell. I want to beat them if that means shocking them - fine but just shocking shell is not one of my priorities

On Violence
No Eskimo you brought up violence you said
"suggest the s2s now adopt a totally peaceful attitude of turning the other cheek". To suggest that we now adopt a totally peaceful attitude implies we once had a violent one. Please stop insinuating I work for Shell or am trying to damage the campaign.

author by frostbitten?publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:02Report this post to the editors

Methinks he who calls himself Eskimo is more like an ostrich pleading with others to bury their heads in sand...

This ain't gonna go away just cos we ignore it and pretend it's not happening...they need to be challenged on it.

It's incredible that the Gardaí have now apparently given up on the law altogether (not hard to imagine Gannon shouting "I am the law " ), and have abandoned even attempting to use teh law as a screen for violence instead blatantly breaking it and punishing protesters for keeping it.
I wonder where does the actual law stand on resisting a garda who is, and is assisting others in, actively breaking the law?

I wonder also after the atrocious McNally verdict last year could McGrath's have whipped out a shotgun to resist this trespassing?

author by The eskimo - s2spublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:08Report this post to the editors

if any one wonders if reason has gone out the window then read the comment, in particular the last comment by frostbitten.

author by Hmmpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:27Report this post to the editors

One of the RIC men has a dreamy look on his face...

doughnuts.jpg

author by Hmm..publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:30Report this post to the editors

Hmmm...

doughnuts_copy.jpg

author by bpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:35Report this post to the editors

Committing criminal damage?
Committing criminal damage?

author by thaw out (formerly known as frostbitten)publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 14:57Report this post to the editors

Forgive me for attempting to inject a little humour into the proceedings with the shotgun comment...

Eskimo. the s2s campaign has always been peaceful. It was not s2s or "outside protesters" who brought violence to Erris...it was Shell and the Gardaí.
The s2s campaing has always used varying levels of non-violent direct action...NON-VIOLENT. No this is not turning the other cheek but it's not violent either.
Batoning people, throwing them over ditches, twisting arms and dragging people by their hair IS violent. This violence is carried out by the gardaí not by the protesters.

Unfortunately, some people are a little confused about this simple difference.
Sitting back and ignoring the refinery is what the majority of people in this country are happy to do. Shell are not shocked by it. If S2S sit back and start ignoring what's going on Shell will assume that they have succeeded in breaking the back of the campaign and they will not be far wrong.

Turning the other cheek may be all well and good for those who like a bit of spanking but it's not going to win this campaign.

author by mpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 15:01Report this post to the editors

Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act

19C.—(1) A person, without the duly given consent of the owner, shall not—

(a) enter and occupy any land, or

(b) bring onto or place on any land any object,

where such entry or occupation or the bringing onto or placing on the land of such object is likely to—

(i) substantially damage the land

Related Link: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2002/en/act/pub/0009/sec...sec24
author by Patpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 15:06Report this post to the editors

This whole situation has lost all rationality and proportionality...

So the Shell contractors wanted to install a cabin on a public pier...

This was to facilitate efforts to find a new route...

They had been informed by Mayo County Council that they could go ahead...sure it was an oversight to assume it was a public right of way but come on???

Everyone is acting like its a hugh infringment on human rights the they've reacted and assume there is a sinister reason behind this..

If people insist on putting them selves in the way of danger then assume it is dangerous to be there!

This was a minor misunderstanding blown out of all proportion!

The way people react in a group is reminisent of Lord of the Flies...

author by Jackpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 16:38Report this post to the editors

Sure only the law was broken by the forces of law and order
and only 20 people got hurt for insisting on their rights and only one man was arrested.
Can't we all laugh about it? Nobody died this time.

author by Tapperpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 16:42Report this post to the editors


"So the Shell contractors wanted to install a cabin on a public pier..."

No, they put the cabin on private land next to the pier. without the consent of the owner.

"This was to facilitate efforts to find a new route..."

To the planned terminal, that the locals object to.

"They had been informed by Mayo County Council that they could go ahead...sure it was an oversight to assume it was a public right of way but come on???"

Sure, it's only a minor indiscretion to turn up at someone's land with a digger flanked by cops, not bother to explain yourself to the landowner, and damage his property, then fling people into ditches, and punch one in the face when he tries to stop you falling further.

"Everyone is acting like its a hugh infringment on human rights the they've reacted and assume there is a sinister reason behind this.."

And how wrong they are. Shell are trying to find another way of placating the locals into accepting a gas refinery on their doorstep, and a high pressure raw gas pipe close to their homes.

"If people insist on putting them selves in the way of danger then assume it is dangerous to be there!"

Why should someone be in danger of a JCB and a mob of Gardai when they're on private land with the consent of the landowner, and the JCB and the Gardai do not have the consent to enter?

"This was a minor misunderstanding blown out of all proportion!"
By the superintendent who ordered a JCB to be driven forward at the campaigners... I agree

"The way people react in a group is reminisent of Lord of the Flies..."

haven't read that, but there was an element of bullying and violence in one group there wasn't there... which group are you referring to ? The one with the blue and yellow uniforms?

author by Fracture - .publication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 20:37Report this post to the editors

Extract from Mayo Echo:

It is common knowledge that high profile members of Shell to Sea are
uncomfortable with some of the tactics being employed by a minority of
demonstrators,

author by CLpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 20:47Report this post to the editors

"Mr Boyle agreed that the M3 motorway, US flights refuelling at Shannon Airport and health issue were the biggest issues concentrating the minds of party members."
http://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/mhkfeysncwkf/

Not a mention of shell/corrib!

I wonder when will the S2S group realize that there is no stomach from any party (or ind) to demand a change to the corrib project.

Here is my prediction (maybe you should print it so you can check if I am correct in a12 mths).
(1) the greens will say "An Bord Pleanála is charged with over seeing the pipeline route, and we cant interfere with an independent body"
(2) RPS claim to have eight alternative routes, but in reality they have ONE route, what they are doing now is window dressing.
(3) if you look up European law on SAC's they are only an option for development once "all other options are excluded" hence the RPS window dressing to ensure landowners along all other routes (except one) will protest and refuse permission for the pipeline.
this is exactly what RPS/Shell are hoping will happen.
(4) eventually Shell/Bertie will conclude the only "safe" viable route is up the middle of Sruwaddaccon bay, which is state owned, no more CPO's no more close proximity to dwellings so "almost" everybody is happy

author by Allaytespublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:19Report this post to the editors

This is what 1916 was for?
No wonder the world laughs at us, we do the bidding of anyone that can pay. We are no nation.

Bertie cares nothing for locals wishes, yet our rulers have the temerity to support a constitution that backs the rights of the individual?

The pipeline wont even do that much good for Ireland, its a joke.

author by Jackpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:30Report this post to the editors

The Greens deliberately avoided any discussion of Corrib gas, preferring instead to sort it out once within government. Luckily, FF also didn't make it a condition of coalition, so its all to play for yet.
Of all the issues facing the next govt. - health, Shannon, M3 and Corrib - the most easily resolved
will be Corrib. The Greens know that they will easily put manners on Shell when in govt. (licences, permits, etc.) and Bertie certainly won't risk his government for the sake of the Norwegians and Shell shareholders.
Shell had better wake up and smell the coffee. So far their record of mismanagement is just pissing
everybody off and they can expect little sympathy from now on. They will no longer have jack-boots-
McDowell to do their bidding. Certain gardaí would also do well to clean up their reputations.

author by Cradlepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:43Report this post to the editors

"eventually Shell/Bertie will conclude the only "safe" viable route is up the middle of Sruwaddaccon bay, which is state owned, no more CPO's no more close proximity to dwellings so "almost" everybody is happy"

The new route which goes through Sruthfadaconn also goes throught the headland of Glengad, past houses and through farms - the same as the "original" route, and crosses over into part of Rossport, doing likewise, before going up the estury, so if that was the route choosen it would not be a case of "no more CPO's no more close proximity to dwellings"

author by Cradlepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:45Report this post to the editors

Also they are CAOs - Compulsory Acquisition, not CPOs - Compulsory Purchase.

author by susanpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 21:53Report this post to the editors

cradel says "also goes throught the headland of Glengad, past houses and through farms - the same as the "original" route, and crosses over into part of Rossport, doing likewise, before going up the estury"
why dont you get your foilo maps and check who owns that stretch of land!
nuff said!
OH and "Green Party members have voted by over 86% to go into Government with Fianna Fáil." http://www.rte.ie/news/2007/0613/election2.html

author by Cradlepublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 22:04Report this post to the editors

At least one farm in question is owned by a man who can be seen at the above protest in the above photos. In any case it is irrelevant who owns what except in so far as the state doesn't and hence it requires CAOs, and is in proximity to housing - the issues raised above. Indeed if proximity to housing (and a church, pub, and school) is the criteria going up the estury actually brings the pipe close to more houses, a church, pub, and school.
Moreover closer to the original original route, which was along the Pollathomas side of the estury, not through Rossport, and was rejected on safety grounds, due to the landslide from Dooncarton - the start of the pipeline will still be at the foot of that hill.

author by glas agus dubhpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 11:33Report this post to the editors

Eamonn Ryan of the Green Party was asked on RTE this morning whether the party would stand by the conference resolution to look for a complete review of the Corrib project.

No, he replied.

author by Donal Ogpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 12:22Report this post to the editors

My housemate works with RPS, though not on this project, but their role is to look at pipeline routes. That's all they're being employed for. So to lump them in with the police and suggest they're assaulting people is utter nonsense.

author by SNBpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 13:17Report this post to the editors

Donal, can you ask your housemate if a Garda was driving the digger? Or was the digger driver employed the Gardaí? If it was an RPS employee who drove the JCB at people, then your housemate should take some responsibility.

In reality, RPS are agents for Shell, and Shell are calling the shots in Mayo.

The issue is not the specific route of parts of the pipeline. The issue is the lunacy of installing an offshore refinery 11KM inland, without the consent of the people.

Saying "we are only here to examine routes for the high pressure pipeline to supply raw gas to the giant polluting refinery, therefore don't blame us" is a bit weak.

author by Donal Ogpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 15:15Report this post to the editors

1) I did and he said some of them are CAD technicians, some with a scientific background and some engineers. None of them would be in a position to drive a JCB, and probably most wouldn't know how to.

2) Why should he take any responsibility? So RPS took a contract to look at the routes of the pipeline. It's not his area and he has nothing to do with it. It's a multi-faceted company so not everyone works on the same project.

author by SNBpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 15:33Report this post to the editors

He obviously has opinions- "to lump therm in with the police etc" or were those your opinions? Anyway, someone is using their position as an employee of RPS to make statements on their culpability on what happened at the entrance to the road down to pier. If they do this, they can't then say that the scheme is nothing to do with them.

The fact is that the man who drove the JCB was an employee of RPS. That's why it makes sense to "lump them in" , because he endangered the local people to suit Shell, which is what the cops do.

RPS are seen as creatures of Shell, and if they don't like it, they should instruct their staff to behave impartially, and consult with the landowners before listening to the likes of Supt.Gannon.

author by Donal Ogpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 15:40Report this post to the editors

"He obviously has opinions- "to lump therm in with the police etc" or were those your opinions? Anyway, someone is using their position as an employee of RPS to make statements on their culpability on what happened at the entrance to the road down to pier. If they do this, they can't then say that the scheme is nothing to do with them.

The fact is that the man who drove the JCB was an employee of RPS. That's why it makes sense to "lump them in" , because he endangered the local people to suit Shell, which is what the cops do.

RPS are seen as creatures of Shell, and if they don't like it, they should instruct their staff to behave impartially, and consult with the landowners before listening to the likes of Supt.Gannon."

I was telling him about what was said about RPS and he said "I don't know why they're being lumped in with the police. Most of them are girls and they certainly wouldn't have been assaulting anyone". Since he knows his colleagues having worked with them over a long time and some of the people involved are friends of his, then his opinion is more valid to me. If someone's assaulting anyone and saying they're from RPS, it would seem that they're being a little on the disingenuous side.

The (alleged) spitting and kicking by the protesters wouldn't do them any favours either.

Then again, that's probably just a pack of lies and I'm a mouthpiece for Shell and what-not.

author by SNBpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:00Report this post to the editors

Here's some video of the 11th:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP7iBPIBkZc

That's an RPS digger with an RPS driver. Judge for yourself if the company is all sweetness and light.

author by Donal Ogpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 17:16Report this post to the editors

I can't access youtube but since RPS aren't a construction company, they wouldn't have diggers.

It's an engineering consultancy.

author by Etain - s2spublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 18:38Report this post to the editors

Fair play to all who stood their ground against the shell and their side kicks yesterday. The events which took place yesterday only confirmed my suspicions that shell and the guards are prepared to stop at nothing to push this death project through , for example in what country would you see the forces of law and order using a digger machine to brush aside concerned residents. These new actions could be seen as a defining moment in which the ante has been upped and the life of decent people are worth less than that of builders or the guards.

author by soundmigrationpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 19:03Report this post to the editors

as the driver of the excavator was acting completly outside the bounds safe practice of work machinery.

Related Link: http://www.hsa.ie
author by Thomaspublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:32Report this post to the editors

Fair play to the S2S campaign for continuing to fight this huge multi national and their hired thugs of FF/PD/GP Cops

author by great news!publication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 20:43Report this post to the editors

at last some good news, Eamon Ryan is now the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources .
IT will no doubt mean a tearing up of the corrupt deal with $hell.
the refinery will never be built on land now that the greens are in control of the Natural Resources.
So Well done to S2S for holding out long eneough for this to happen! congrats.
now shell, go to hell .

author by cool jpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 21:47Report this post to the editors

RPS are involved as hired consultants to the government on a number of dodgy projects. The incinerator in Ringsend( where they have been critised widely for their unprofessional, misleading and sloppy presentations at the recent public hearings(something we are all familar with here in Erris!!)). Secondly the have been appointed as consultants by the government to look at the possiblity of taking large amounts of water from the Shannon and re-directing it to Dublin. RPS have refused to meet or correspond with a number of local pressure groups in the Shannon catchment who have serious concerns about the long term enviromental and economic affect for that region if such a project goes ahead in the same destructive, sloppy way so many other major infrastuctural projects have proceeded in this country.

A very sinister recent development in relation to RPS influence on such matters is the recent appointed of an employee of RPS to the board of AN Board Pleanala. This is extremely worrying for anyone with an interest in planning and environment given RPS actvities in this country up to now!!

author by Local - publication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 21:52Report this post to the editors

Welcome back not so cool j

author by cool jpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 22:03Report this post to the editors

Have you been promoted yet from the runt position at Shell PR, Mr local???

author by Blowoutpublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 22:58Report this post to the editors

Blowins like the Corduffs and McGraths is it? Get real yerself. And less of the personal insults please although I suppose thats the only contribution you are capable of making to the debate.

author by bookemdannopublication date Thu Jun 14, 2007 23:35Report this post to the editors

I'd recommend that private prosecutions be taken out against the Gardai and the digger driver for trespass, criminal damage, assault, unlawful breaking and entering, as well as reckless endangerment, dangerous driving and anything else you can throw at them for that shameful behaviour where they invaded Mr. McGrath's property, pushed people around, cut the lock off his gate, as if there was no law in this country. We shouldn't tolerate this type of behaviour from the Gardai, and seeing as the Garda Ombudsman is about as credible a watchdog as its pathetic predecessor, you'll just have to bring the prosecutions yourself, as Niall Harnett was doing, (just don't send them a letter offering to drop the charges)
Hopefully, whoever has the camcorder (visible in one of the pictures above) will make the tape available for court purposes. The clip on youtube looks like it was done with a camera phone, which was grand to give the idea of what was going on, but hardly good enough quality for prosecution.
Beir Bua.

And by the way, "confused local"... I may be a blow in, but I pay taxes in this country, and I ain't happy to pay Garda wages if they're double jobbing for Shell.

author by Tree - .publication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 10:23Report this post to the editors

the green's ain't going to save shell to sea

author by chrissiepublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 20:00Report this post to the editors

The Gardai started by threatening peaceful protestors ("If you don't want to be
seriously hurt, move away NOW"), then used a digger as a weapon to push them down the path (contrary to all H & S procedures, with protestors & cops on the machine) to establish an illegal siting without consultation with the landowner. This is the manner of Shell's (& Gardai's) liaison with the local community; no wonder S2S want them out

author by Literalpublication date Fri Jun 15, 2007 20:31Report this post to the editors

using a 10 Te MBL rope, pulley & wooden A-frame?

author by chrissiepublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 19:45Report this post to the editors

I'd not be surprised if sHell want to provoke people to chuck the Portakabin into the Bay, & then say, wicked unlawful protestors! Get em in the courts & make complaint to the Garda Ombudsman, yr TDs & representatives.

author by Jimbobpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 21:29Report this post to the editors

I thought they were going to remove it following the notice from the McGrath's solicitor?
What happened there?

author by Watchpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 22:14Report this post to the editors

Gosh, thats interesting. It's not like a socicitor to get things wrong> especially down in Pollatomis

author by ddpublication date Mon Jun 18, 2007 22:48Report this post to the editors

Does a right of way apply to a digger?
Aren't right of way disputes usually settled in court?
Maybe the guards were in the right but this was summary justice.
Are all disputes now to be decided and settled by force or does Shell get special treatment?
We need to ask ourselves what type of law we want.

author by local paperspublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 13:30Report this post to the editors

I have looked at most of this weeks local papers including the mayo advertiser and the western.
there is no mention of the incident at pollathomas.
Is this a deliberate boycot of the campaign, is it in any local paper?

author by other local paper readerpublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 14:29Report this post to the editors

THE latest arrest as a result of ongoing clashes between protestors and gardaí over the Corrib gas project took place late on Monday evening.

One man was arrested at Pullathomas Pier after an altercation when a group of protestors confronted Shell contractors who were attempting to locate a security cabin at the pier.

There was a series of running scuffles and gardaí and protestors clashed as the cabin was being put in place. The man who was arrested was taken to Belmullet Garda Station.

The cabin is to be used by a boat crew which has been contracted to undertake a seabed survey in the area as part of Shell Ireland’s attempts to find a new route for an onshore pipeline linking its offshore well to a €200 million refinery at Bellanaboy.

author by chrissiepublication date Tue Jun 19, 2007 21:08Report this post to the editors

There was a slight mention in the papers but they failed to mention the use of a digger as a weapon against peaceful protestors, the breach of HSE laws, & the manner of the invasion & occupation of the pier & access road.

author by Erris Exilepublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:04Report this post to the editors

SNB please tell me how this 'refinery' should be constructed and operated (and where exactly - at what depth contour) to deliver the Corrib Gas field? Everyone seems to go on about this (Shell to Sea is your organisation's name isn't it?) but I can't for the life of me fathom how the design engineers got it so blatantly wrong in the beginning not to locate it in the depths of some of the harshest metocean conditions in the world rather than onland!!! They should have asked your opinion obviously. And how praytell are they going to get the gas ashore if there was such a 'refinery' out in the Atlantic? Come on, provide us with the technical details.

As for the Greens coming to the rescue, don't bet on it. They may influence the routing of the M3 but they are not interested in Corrib - especially since the election is over and they duped you all into voting for them. Hey, that's politics for ye!

author by dpublication date Wed Jun 20, 2007 11:17Report this post to the editors

how can you operate a keyboard and still ask such basic (i'm being polite) questions?
try a little research rather than waiting for others to educate you.
I'll start you off:

http://www.publicinquiry.ie/

Related Link: http://www.publicinquiry.ie/
author by tiredpublication date Wed Jul 11, 2007 18:17Report this post to the editors

did anyone think its not a boycott by the local papers its that they are not writing about the incident becuase the whole country is sick of hearing about it and rossport has being put on the map for all the wrong reasons

author by IT readerpublication date Fri Oct 30, 2009 22:29Report this post to the editors

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1030/1....html

THE GARDA Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has recommended that disciplinary action be taken against a senior member of An Garda Síochána in relation to the handling of a protest over Corrib gas in north Mayo over two years ago.

About 20 civilians and two gardaí were hurt in the incident. The GSOC decision was referred to the Garda Commissioner last July. An ombudsman spokesman said yesterday it had not had notification on the outcome.

A Garda spokesman confirmed that “a file has been received for a decision to be made by the Garda Commissioner”.

Read more at

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2009/1030/1....html
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