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Maura Harrington Ends Hunger Strike - Solitaire Gone From Irish Waters
rights, freedoms and repression |
Friday September 19, 2008 18:56 by FSB! et al. - Rossport Solidarity Camp - Shell to Sea
Maura seals victory over Shell and the state and thanks all who helped on the way
This afternoon, the Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington ended her 10-day-old hunger strike after confirmation that the Solitaire had indeed left Irish waters. She read a statement to the press and the public outside the gates of Shell’s compound at Glengad in Erris, Co. Mayo, and then announced that her hunger strike had come to an end.
Maura delighted with confirmation of the Solitaire's departure
In what may be seen in times to come as a landmark victory for people power over the will of an overbearing multinational and state power, Maura Harrington ended her 10-day-old hunger strike this afternoon at 3pm after hearing the news that the Shell pipe-laying ship the Solitaire had left Irish territorial waters after over a week of hanging around in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. The Solitaire left Killybegs late last night or early this morning, and is now currently docked in Clyde Port, Glasgow, in Scotland. It remains unclear what the Solitaire’s future plans are; it is hoped it stays away from Broadhaven Bay for the rest of this year.
Maura read a statement to the assembled press and people present at the Shell compound gates. Afterwards, following a brief photo-call, she was hugged joyfully by her many friends present and did the rounds of an elated and relieved crowd. Her energy and good spirits were inspirational after her 10-day ordeal, and once she had finished dealing with the press and accepting the embraces of fellow Shell to Sea campaigners she left with family to begin her recovery at her home.
The text of her statement is:
‘I thank Divine Grace and the support of decent people everywhere that the Solitaire has left Irish territorial waters.
‘The courage of ‘the Chief’, Pat O’Donnell and his son Jonathan, who fought to uphold their rights at sea, and the tenacity of local people, together with national and international support, in their quest for justice is a testament to what is best in all of us.
‘Local people have borne the brunt of Shell’s arrogance and Government neglect for the past eight years. Yet Corrib remains a national issue because the Government continues to put the profits of Shell before the needs of the Irish people. Any alternative location for the Corrib Gas infrastructure will not build new schools, new hospitals or contribute to the National Pension Fund. Until we the People benefit from what is rightfully ours, any attempt to extricate Shell and the Government from the mess that is Corrib remains doomed to failure.
‘It is fitting that the latest episode in the Corrib debacle should occur on the anniversary (by day and date) of the landslides which devastated Glengad and the wider Dooncarton area in 2003. If Shell is capable of any rationality, now is the time for them to accept that they will never put a pipeline through Glengad.
‘I believe that the Shell to Sea campaign gives hope to all who strive for an Ireland that cherishes all its people equally and upholds values that don’t carry a price tag.’
Maura and her son Iollan enjoying the good news together
Relieved and happy! Maura's daughter Etain and brother Martin
Photo-call for Maura
Crowd gathers for Maura's statement