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Shell to Sea protesters scale government building to reach Minister's Office

category mayo | environment | feature author Saturday December 22, 2007 19:46author by Shell to Seaauthor email dublinshelltosea at gmail dot comauthor phone 00353871323369 Report this post to the editors

Eamon Ryan absent- doing a nixer for Shell or getting orders from the offshore operators group?

featured image

A small group of Shell to Sea activists scaled the heights of the Department of Natural Resources today, to place a banner reading PROTECT IRISH NATURAL RESOURCES on the balcony outside Eamon Ryan's office.

Splitting into two small teams, the protesters used advice from GreenPeace to distract the security and gain access to the Minister's top floor office and leave a message for him.

This action was carried out to bring to public attention the government's support for every aspect of the Rossport pipeline/refinery scheme, and the giveaway of Irish Natural resources to multinational companies like Shell, with no lasting benefit for people in Ireland. The Green party have now had a full term of the Dáil to honour their election promises, but sadly, their end of term report is is marked FAIL.

None of the gas or oil in the wells off the western coast of Ireland will belong to the state, since the government still plans to give it all away for free to private companies. The recent changes to licensing agreements won't apply to the eight billion euro Corrib project, and don't amount to a serious stake for the people of Ireland in their own natural resources, 100 per cent of which is still being given away to companies like Shell and Statoil.

None of the money from these fossil fuels will be invested in renewable sources of energy like wind and wave power, and no thought has been given to the impact that the exploitation of these resources will have on climate change.

Áine, one of the Shell to Sea protestors, said "The government's supine support for the oil companies shows that they prioritise the welfare of Shell shareholders over the wellbeing of their own citizens. Shell are being allowed to keep all the gas and sell it to the highest bidder, almost certainly in Britain. The refining of 4 million euro worth of raw gas per day will clearly degrade the environment, both locally for the people of Mayo, and also in terms of carbon dioxide emissions when the gas is used. From an Irish point of view, we would be better off leaving the gas where it is, under the sea."

Shell to Sea protestors have also pointed out that the government's double talk on climate change can be clearly seen when they are supporting the construction of a raw gas refinery, and say they are hoping for further exploitation of fossil fuels in the Atlantic margin.

ÁÍne continued: "Until supply-side solutions are put in place, the continuing exploitation of fossil fuels will be adding to carbon dioxide emissions which is causing climate change. Any possible benefit from this is lost because the gas and oil are simply handed over to the big corporations. The people of Ireland will see no advantage, either environmental or financial, from their own gas and oil resources."

"Meanwhile the corporations which will see huge profits from Irish resources, seek to use the cheapest and most dangerous way of exploiting them. Our government is happy to see lives of people in Ireland put at risk by the use of an onshore pipeline and refinery in Mayo, simply to maximise returns for Shell shareholders. "

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com





author by NB -Errispublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 17:35Report this post to the editors

excellent work, hope the climb wasn't too tough

author by Socialist Youth - SYpublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 17:59author email socialistyouth at hotmail dot comauthor phone 01-6772592Report this post to the editors

Its a funny article - great photo's. Any press coverage?

Socialist Youth have featured this article (attribute to Shell to Sea, and with the web link) on our blog (www.SocialistYouth.wordpress.com), I hope thats ok?

Related Link: http://www.SocialistYouth.wordpress.com
author by Chrissiepublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 19:08Report this post to the editors

Good work y'all! Keep it up

author by shell to seapublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 19:41Report this post to the editors

yeah thats fine but soacialist youth had nothing to do with it but as they say all publicity is good publicity.

author by Climber 1publication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 22:52Report this post to the editors

a couple more pictures from today at the Dept of (Giveaway of )Natural Resources


high security
high security




author by Sore fingers (from the climb)publication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 23:00Report this post to the editors

a few more.

There should also be a short video soon at www.youtube.com/shelltohell




is that a big shredder for the election promises?
is that a big shredder for the election promises?


author by StoS tuberpublication date Wed Dec 19, 2007 23:42Report this post to the editors

Music by the Saw Doctors from the excellenhttp://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=25a9rv7tGzgt album "All the Way from Tuam".

author by Curious supporterpublication date Thu Dec 20, 2007 13:07Report this post to the editors

When and where does Dublin Shell to Sea hold its meetings? I'd love to get involved in discussing and planning actions like this.

author by billy idlepublication date Thu Dec 20, 2007 13:14Report this post to the editors

Slowly but surely with harder times coming down the road, people are begining to realise that the country is being run by a bunch of incompetent crooks. Yesterdays action should be a template for a new Ireland starting with the takeover of public buildings kicking off the revolution

author by Caoimhe - Dublin Shell to Seapublication date Thu Dec 20, 2007 14:06author email dublins2s at gmail dot comReport this post to the editors


Dublin Shell to Sea meetings are held every Tuesday evening at 18:30. We are currently looking for a new venue, as we had been holding our meetings in Seomra Spraoi which is not open at the moment.

The next meeting will be on January 8th at 18:30. We will post the venue on this website, under the events section closer to the date.

Look forward to meeting you there!

author by SCpublication date Thu Dec 20, 2007 17:17Report this post to the editors

You could always text the phone number on the article above to go on the mailing list. Actions like this are rarely discussed beforehand, as letting the wrong people know beforehand what your plan is, is not a good idea.

The best way to get involved in actions like this though, is to do them yourself.

Shell to Sea has no structure in the normal sense. If what you want to do is peaceful, safe, and advances the demands of the campaign- then go ahead and do it.

If you need support then text, phone or email, and it'll be forthcoming, but don't wait for someone to give you permission to act. Like the shoe says- just do it!

author by Curious supporterpublication date Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:37Report this post to the editors

"You could always text the phone number on the article above to go on the mailing list. Actions like this are rarely discussed beforehand, as letting the wrong people know beforehand what your plan is, is not a good idea."

I think what Shell are doing down in Mayo is one of the most blatant injustices going on in a very unjust society. I have been to the odd Dublin Shell to Sea protest, but not for a while. Like a lot of people, I don't have a lot of time available, but I would like to get involved in more anti-Shell activity. Am I one of "the wrong people" who can't be trusted, who should wait until a text from an inner circle divulges the plans they have come up with by themselves?

On the other hand, if Dublin Shell to Sea has a meeting on January 8th, then I'll try and get along to that.

author by open supporter - open supporters of america publication date Wed Dec 26, 2007 20:38Report this post to the editors

theres nothing sinister in theese actions. it took about six people to plan out and execute. on the plus side the small numbers prevented obstruction and petty in fighting from with in that usually comes with theese broud frount campaigns on the negitive side the small numbers wheren't able to maximise on publicity which you can generally do with broud frount campaigns.

actions like this couldn't happen in an over centralised shell2sea structure but actions like this will burn out if not part of some sort of shell2sea structre and capitalized on by that structure.

my curious brother don't fight with people who want the same as you don't be stuborn. it's time my curious brother and i know this is a dirty word on indymedia but it's time my curious brother to look for a third way

author by MGIpublication date Sat Dec 29, 2007 19:41Report this post to the editors

It seems a huge number of people pass through Dublin Airport over the holidays. Of course the hard core of environmental protesters never travel by plane, but since the crowds were there, a few of us Shell to Sea types made our way out to the airport just before Christmas to give out some leaflets we had left over and make sure the Mayo Gas Info brochure was available in the Tourist Information place (see picture).

We might have got a few Shell to Sea stickers around as well...


Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com
author by Catharpublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 10:05Report this post to the editors

Any individual who support Shell to Sea could spray paint the word Rossport on the Plate Glass of Shell/Statoil filling stations. This should take about 30 seconds and be possible to walk away quickly from. I think car paint is hardest to be removed from glass but I'm open to advice on that

author by davepublication date Tue Jan 01, 2008 11:22Report this post to the editors

Yes you could spray paint on a petrol station window HOWEVER as none of the Shell or Statoil petrol stations are owned by either Shell or Statoil - but by an independent Irish company - this would be mindless vandalism of an innocent party's property.

author by LPpublication date Wed Jan 02, 2008 00:45Report this post to the editors

No-one who gives support to Shell and Statoil operations in Ireland is "innocent". If some filling station owners choose to be the public face of companies that shit on Irish people from a height, they should anticipate that some people might be annoyed by that decision. A little graffiti doesn't compare to the beatings people receive for opposing the dangerous plans of Shell and Statoil and their various contractors.

Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com
author by Catharpublication date Wed Jan 02, 2008 21:41Report this post to the editors

The company that owns Shell/Statoil stations is not an innocent third party . They are keeping th brandsa live and were fully aware of why the companies sold the stations to avoid such actions. Spray away. Use road marking paint on the ground if you are squeamish about marking a building. It is removable but with some dificulty. This is the only country in the world that both companies have divested their retail arm. I wonder why? The time for standing idly by while the country is plundered of it's natural resources is over.

author by Erris Exilepublication date Thu Jan 03, 2008 19:25Report this post to the editors

TOPAZ were obliged to retain the Shell/ Statoil branding as a condition of sale for a predetermined period only. This is the contract. Once this period elapses they will be able to use their own brand. Are you still going to use your road paint on TOPAZ outlets when they change their signage, etc. After all as you state they are still the same outlets that were once Shell's or Statoil's. Get with the times and focus on the real issue here. The outlets are not the issue here cos they aredo not even belong tothe company you are trying to target. Do you honestly think Shell or Statoil give two damns whether you paint up someone else's outlets? I think not. Your quest in this instance is a futile one and you are damaging an innocent company in this - TOPAZ had no option but to retain the branding.

author by katiem - nonepublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 00:50Report this post to the editors

Erris Exile, you are spot on. The base instincts of the (so-called) S2S lobby are breathtaking. Why not resort to abject vandalism? This just shows the low to which this whole campaign has stooped. And is this down to the local population? I don't think so. I think most of the radical action has to have been proposed by the professional protesters .drawn by another "worthy cause". I think that if the people actually permanently living in the Rossport and Bellananaboy area were asked their opinion, they would prefer to do their own protesting, in a civilized and dignified way, given the shambles that has ensued in the last two years. I might be wrong, and am open to argument.

author by carpe diempublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 00:57Report this post to the editors

Just for the record and because I need the typing practice-

ALL the petrol etc sold in Shell garages (whether owned and operated by another company) in the Ireland is supplied by Shell. No one else.

ALL the petrol etc sold in Statoil garages is supplied by Statoil. No one else.

Activists who seek to remind people of these companies' appalling record regarding the issues of disregard for lack of community consent in receiving communities, environmental degradation, shameless profiteering, and double-talk on climate change, human rights, and other matters, would be well-advised to raise these issues at the point of sale- e.g. Shell and Statoil forecourts.

author by Yankpublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 02:25Report this post to the editors

Am I correct in believing that both Statoil and Shell brands will soon be absent from the Irish market?

If so, this can only be a victory for Shell to Sea supporters who have tried so hard to highlight the corruption and vandalism of these companies.

Rock on!

author by Catharpublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 09:09Report this post to the editors

I'm glad to hear that Topaz will rebrand as soon as possible. Many of the retail outlets are independently owned and can rebrand sooner if they do not have a solus agreement (commitment to purchase in return for contribution to forecourt fdevelopment) this should help independents jump ship. I am a chartered accountant. I'm asking the forecourt owners permission to ground paint their entrances.

author by davepublication date Fri Jan 04, 2008 13:36Report this post to the editors

Why don't you paint 'Rossport' across the front of your own office door. Like it or not, I'll bet your very own pension fund (whether companyt or private) has shares in the mighty Shell corporation - and possibly Statoil too. Check it out - RDS A or RDS B. Every Western European pension fund does because they are a blue chip highly performing stock and a very safe place to keep your hard earned pension rights. Get real and with the real world. Painting Rossport across the forecourt of an innocent 3rd party's property is vandalism. I would have thought a chartered accountant would be familiar with the real world of economics. Shell and Statoil disposed of their retaill assets in Ireland because they do not consider them to be a good place to keep their money. They have done so in other European countries also. Do you really believe that Shell and Statoil produce all the petrol at Shell branded staions. No, they don't. The majority will have been produced by a 3rd party and then sold on to Shell/Statoil at a contracted rate. Petrol is petrol - a commodity. There's no such thing as Shell Petrol or Statoil Petrol. They just happen to be the companies that sell on to the 3rd party owned stations that you or I buy from. Go somewhere else if you don't want to buy from them. That's your choice, but there are better ways of protesting your views than vandalism.

author by Catharpublication date Sat Jan 05, 2008 23:51Report this post to the editors

Dave you obviously don't understand the pension fund swindle. I don't have and never will have a pension fund. I won't qualify for a state one either which is being gambled on the loaded roulette wheel that is the stock market. I paddle my own canoe.

author by West Armaghpublication date Tue Jan 08, 2008 16:12Report this post to the editors

Congratulations to Dublin Shell to Sea for another innovative protest. Glad to see your gift from Shell to Sea Ard Mhacha being put to good use!

author by Dave - ULpublication date Wed Jan 23, 2008 22:49Report this post to the editors

Wait a second.....

We all need fossil fuels in this modern world at the moment. Unless you want to go live in a cave....

Personally Id prefer to have fossil fuel extraction in a first world country, instead of exploiting the third world. Keep in mind Ireland is a democracy, and one of the richest countrys in the world at the moment.

Just a kick of reality.... Cant wait to see the replys, but personally I think you all need to open your minds a little.

author by opticianpublication date Wed Jan 23, 2008 23:35Report this post to the editors


The people want the gas in the Corrib field processed safely offshore. They have no problem with it being refined, just safely. Similar to the way it is done at Kinsale and many, many other places.

That's why the campaign is called Shell to Sea.

Maybe you need to open your, er, eyes a little?

author by LPpublication date Wed Jan 23, 2008 23:37Report this post to the editors

Absolutely amazing...let's brutalise and harass people in Mayo instead of people in Africa. Beautiful. Good luck in UL.

Related Link: http://www.mayogasinfo.com
author by Davepublication date Thu Jan 24, 2008 19:49Report this post to the editors

but these guys are holding signs saying "protect Ireland's natural resources" and a fuel gauge on empty with the euro sign. No mention of safety etc. What are the real issues here?

Also they look like the ones who are doing the harassment.....

Look Im all for independent media and the role it has to play - but how about getting to the real issues from people who are directly affected by them and have who have sensible opinions that arn't clouded by emotion and prejudice.

This is a stunt - who's going to take indymedia seriously?

author by suoi norpublication date Thu Jan 24, 2008 20:14Report this post to the editors

Obviously, lots of people are concerned about the giveaway, but it only came up because the government tried to excuse their dirty deal with Shell by saying that was in the national interest. The fact that the state doesn't own a penny worth of its resources proves the lie of that.

I think it also says "Shell to Sea" somewhere on the placards doesn't it? When the safety aspects of the campaign are brought up, amadáns come on to indymedia and say it's just country people going on about a local issue. Hard to believe I know...

But the safety issue seems to be news to you. Maybe if you read the whole article you might be better able to get a handle on this.

Last paragraph above:

"Meanwhile the corporations which will see huge profits from Irish resources, seek to use the cheapest and most dangerous way of exploiting them. Our government is happy to see lives of people in Ireland put at risk by the use of an onshore pipeline and refinery in Mayo, simply to maximise returns for Shell shareholders. "

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com

Related Link: http://mayogsinfo.com
author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Thu Jan 24, 2008 22:52Report this post to the editors

The number of Shell apologists has dwindled away of late, and the quality of their critique, such as it was, has hit rock bottom. This Dave

is the lamest we've ever had on here. His heart doesn't even seem to be in it. I believe this is because the message we've been

trying to get out about the nature and scale of the Giveaway is finally hitting fertile ground. "Ordinary" people, who, even a year ago were

still caught up in the hubris of the Celtic Tiger are at last coming to their senses and realising that the little gravy train has hit the buffers,

while the big one never left the station because it was hi-jacked by the Government/Big Business nexus which has spent the past 20

years robbing us of a decent Health service, proper infastructure, a meaningful long-term job creation policy and latterly the real jewel in

the crown, our unbelievably lucrative Natural Resources. At last, people have got the message. We must now see whether the

discontent which is simmerring everywhere will manifest itself in a backlash against Shell and its Leinster House Lackeys.

We've all got to keep this message centre stage; it's not just the future of Erris that's at stake here, we're talking about Ireland's

Democracy, Freedom and Economic Wellbeing. I think those are good enough reasons to remove the Shell/FF/PD/Green shambles

that's running and ruining this country. Ordinary people will do it. We just need to keep reminding them that they can.

author by Faunie Shitzpublication date Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:35Report this post to the editors

It turns out this building is actually rented, the government don't own it all.

It is rented from, of all people, a subsidiary of Anglo Irish Bank.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Fri Oct 08, 2010 14:25Report this post to the editors

...given that our government(and most of the 'opposition') are subsidiaries of Anglo-American finance.That 'Irish' bit was just a 1916 brand make-over, sort of off-the-rails re-invention for the soothing of the Paddy complex.
Must be why we bought all that subsidiarity shit.And as we subside under the ECB/IMFia subduction, the gang Green call for a consensus government, even as the polls show the consensus is that they vanish as pronto as possible. Mudder Oirlind.

author by Clinging onpublication date Sat Feb 26, 2011 22:42Report this post to the editors

Poor Eamon Ryan's tenure as government Minister did not last long, and he has just been eliminated as a candidate in the general election.

Seems like the voters agreed with the protesters...

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