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Shell claims that the Solitaire is leaving Broadhaven Bay, but says it will take 48 hours

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Wednesday September 10, 2008 12:50author by drowned rat Report this post to the editors

Story may be a ruse to attempt to kill media reports of hunger strike

RTE and other media outlets are reporting that the Shell pipe laying ship is to leave Broadhaven Bay within 48 hours.

Some journalists are speculating that the ship's captain has had a crisis of conscience and has left the area in response to the hunger strike, but Shell's statement claims the move is in response to damage to the ship's equipment.

In situations like this, it is usual that false claims are made, and even deals are agreed to, purely to diffuse the situation.

Campaigners remember the lies that were told to Tara campaigners who had tunneled under the roadworks at the ancient site recently.

Readers with longer memories will know that in previous hunger strike situations, media outlets have been used to spread misinformation.

It is likely that Shell is trying to manage the media coverage of the situation, and a tactical withdrawal at this stage might suit them, since the campaign is going to find it hard to keep the attention of a fickle media when the novelty of the current situation has worn off.

It is not clear from Shell's statement why it will take them 48 hours to move a ship back to the Donegal coast, since it can make the trip in a matter of a few hours under normal conditions.

rte report here:

author by J. Mastersonpublication date Wed Sep 10, 2008 14:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Regardless of what might be there is news of a cohort of trained and dedicated NVDA activists on route from Germany, the UK and elsewhere ready to take up land and sea positions. There are also preparations in place for solidarity actions against Shell, Statoil, Solitaire, Fianna Fail, PD, Green Party and various public bodies for the days and weeks ahead. Fundraisers are currently being held as far off as Australia and Canada and recent events are spurring a huge public response in support of the Shell to Sea campaign.

It has been a long 8 years so far. There have been many ups and downs. Many people are tired and frustrated. However, in this dark moment there are many opportunities to be seized and indications are that this campaign will continue in the coming months and years until the project comes crumbling down and the evidence is left of the ground, exposing what is one of the most corrupt and sinister episodes in Irish history.

Let us continue without fear.

Related Link:
author by ?publication date Wed Sep 10, 2008 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Really think a daily visual opposition downtown (doesn't have to be big) - GPO etc while this stand off is happening would be helpful.

Punters aware of it through mainstream media may stop and get clarification from eyewirnesses etc.
Funds could be collected to send to activists/Rossport community up there.
I ain't got the organisation or resources to initate such a thing....but would come along if someone else called it etc.

author by Raffertypublication date Wed Sep 10, 2008 17:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From recent appeal:

Dear friends,

Things here in North Mayo have never been so serious. There is a full scale occupation in Erris. The world's largest pipelaying ship is ready to commence work on this scandalous project, which endangers human life, the pristine natural environment, Ireland's economy and indeed sets a frightening precedent for how state authorities will facilitate corporate agendas at the expense of our people and our country.

We're calling on young and old to mobilise now like never before.

This isn't a Shell to Sea campaign, it's a campaign for the future of Ireland. What type of country do you want to live in? How will you react if this happens in your community, to your neighbours? Would you prefer a decent health and education service funded by Irish natural resources? or 2nd tier systems being set up to service Ireland's elite, from the crumbs of what was once ours?

Whatever your beliefs, are you prepared to sit by whilst a local school principal takes her own life to highlight what the Irish state, political parties, mainstream media and main NGOs continue to ignore?

Please do whatever you can to highlight and prevent this madness from continuing. There is an alternative. There always is.

But we must demand it.

- Support the besieged Mayo community in whatever way you can
- Organise your friends, family, community
- Take to the streets
- Get on the airwaves, write to the press
- Phone your TD now!
- Contact all
- Hold Fianna Fail, PD and Green Party representatives accountable
- Come to Mayo, join the protests
- Fundraise or donate
- Hold a vigil
- Educate yourself via , and

Please do all that you can.

Time is of the essence.

Beir Bua!

latest updates:


author by Sevinch Karaca - WSM-Personal capacitypublication date Wed Sep 10, 2008 17:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good one. We do need this badly in all cities and towns where people are willing to.You have the idea you have the ability. It does not take that much, Dublin Shell to Sea Group have a banner and table, you can pull daily updates, print out press releases, pull out main points, onto a placard or two, fix a time and webtext everybody you know. Quite simple. You may be just yourself a day or two, don't be disheartened, you can orginize to take turns everyday. Could someone from Dublin Shell to Sea or WSM fill in this friend to put his idea at work?

author by ronan - wsm (pers cap)publication date Wed Sep 10, 2008 22:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While it seems implausible that the captain (or crew) of the Solitaire could have a crisis that would force them to leave their work, it seems even more bizarre that a vessel of this magnitude can so suddenly fall prey to unnamed technical damage that cannot be repaired on ship. For a bit of context, the Solitaire is the world's largest pipelaying ship, it is approximately the size of two Croke Parks lengthwise and it has 420 crew members on board constantly. It presumably has extensive onboard engineering mechanical and experience - so what could be so wrong? Perhaps a nautically minded indymedia reader could clear this up..

The Solitaire and its 'stinger'
The Solitaire and its 'stinger'

author by Nancy Drewpublication date Thu Sep 11, 2008 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's like the mysterious personal conflict which prevented the judge from hearing the Chief's appeal last May.

The conflict was severe enough to force the judge to recuse himself, but he had not thought of it before he saw all the media at the court.

What was the nature of this personal conflict?

Like the Solitaire's technical difficulties, we may never know.

author by The strangler - mindfreedompublication date Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I understand that Pat was intimidated in the Court by a state witness.

author by seadogpublication date Thu Sep 11, 2008 16:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The main thing that can go wrong is that the stringer can get bent in heavy weather. The stinger is the curved section at the stern where the pipe comes out.
This will only happen when laying pipe tho as thats when the stinger will be in the water, at other times the stinger will be raised clear.
I dont think they have started laying yet have they? So it couldnt have been damaged yet, unless on previous job.

They will start laying from the beach end and lay away towards the Corrib field the pipe being winched in to the beach.
The land winching operation can be pretty dangerous and people have been killed when pull in wires have snapped.

Hope this helps

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