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September 14th - call for support for Shell to Sea protest
Monday September 03, 2007 15:17 by Shell to Sea
Call for support for large scale peaceful protest
There is a protest at the entrance of the site of the proposed Shell refinery in Erris every morning. On the morning of Friday, September 14th, local people have asked for supporters to join them for a peaceful demonstration against the controversial government-backed scheme to install a high-pressure pipeline and gas refinery against the wishe s of the community.
The following is a statement from Shell to Sea on the subject of this demonstration.
On Sept 14 Shell to Sea will be holding a sit-down protest outside the gates of Ballinaboy from early morning onwards. The purpose of this demonstration is to highlight the following issues:
1. The Natural Resources of Ireland have been given away to Shell, Statoil and others in a deal that means we pay the market rate to the multinationals for what should be ours. The potential loss to the future prosperity of this country is incalculable, but Minister Dempsey, in his previous role, put it as high as €1 Trillion. We want it back.
2. The currently proposed refinery is only the tip of the iceberg for Erris, as has been admitted recently by the Petroleum Affairs Division. It is intended to use Ballinaboy as the conduit for all future finds in the Corrib Basin, meaning that all 450 acres of land granted to the multinatonals by Frank Fahey will eventually be used as the complex is expanded, with all the human and environmental problems that will inevitably ensue.
3. The refinery is being built in the catchment area of Carrowmore Lake, the water source for 10,000 Erris people, an almost unbelievable proposal which is being vehemently opposed by ourselves and An Taisce.
4. The project currently has no route for the inland section of pipeline which will be carrying untreated, unodorised natural gas at at least twice the pressure of treated gas, the type carried in normal in Bord Gais pipelines. Eight potential routes are currently being proposed, with a modified route taking in some of Rossport being seen as one of the favourites. Once again there is great concern in the community as to where the pipeline might go, how near to houses, etc.
5. Shell are currently awaiting a decision on an Integrated Pollution Control Licence, granted provisionally by the E.P.A and challenged brilliantly by the local community, An Taisce and many other groups in a 3-week oral hearing in April. We fear that, even in the face of compelling presentations in opposition to the granting of the licence, political pressure on the E.P.A will be enormous. The granting of this licence would immediately bring An Taisce into play, with a challenge in Europe, based amongst other issues on the siting of the complex in a drinking water catchment area.
Shell to Sea are calling for support to highlight these and many other issues surrounding the Corrib project , which go to the very heart of the type of country Ireland is becoming in terms of human, civil and land rights, the right to peaceful protest and the very essence of democracy itself. We are calling for a well-attended, peaceful protest. Past events have shown us that violence can arise at these demonstrations. We are asking, therefore, that everybody acts in a totally peaceful manner, so that if incidents do occur, the perpetrators will be easily identified.