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Joe Higgins MEP condemns sinking of Shell to Sea activist's boat

category national | environment | news report author Thursday June 11, 2009 21:09author by Joe Higgins.eu - Socialist Partyauthor email info at joehiggins dot eu Report this post to the editors

We need a public investigation into the events

Joe Higgins MEP (Socialist Party) has publicly condemned the sinking of the Iona Isle fishing boat this morning near Rossport. This boat, owned by Pat O'Donnell, a prominent Shell to Sea activist in Mayo and fifth generation fisherman, was boarded by four masked men in the dead of night. They held Pat and his crewman hostage for an hour and a half, before leaving them stranded on a sinking boat. The fishermen only barely managed to inflate their lifeboat in time to escape alive before the boat sank.
Joe Higgins MEP wants to use his new platform to assist community struggles
Joe Higgins MEP wants to use his new platform to assist community struggles

This sinister attack on a prominent Shell to Sea protester marks a new low in the attempt to intimidate people from standing up against Shell's pipeline and refinery. Pat O'Donnell is lucky to be alive today and this attack follows a vicious assault on Willie Corduff by other masked men only a month ago.

A full public investigation must be launched into these crimes. The role of Shell's private security company, Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), must be fully investigated in that process.

Shell spent $9.6 million this week to settle a lawsuit which claimed it was complicit in the execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other campaigners in 1995. This illustrates just how far it is willing to go to protect its obscene profits. Shell and IRMS should be removed from the project, the billions of euro of gas should be nationalised and brought ashore in a safe manner for the benefit of ordinary people across Ireland.

Related Link: http://www.joehiggins.eu
author by James Kelly.publication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 22:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here Here Joe.

I would add to your call that we need a public investigation into the disgraceful conduct of the National Broadcaster R T E, in reporting or rather misreporting reporting these events.

It is frankly an abomination how R T E are spinning this.

They are acting like they are the Public Relations Division of Royal Dutch Shell.

I also heard today that Lorna Siggins of the Irish Times who has injected some balance into events, is coming under pressure from her employer to skew the reports in the 'right' way. Well that may well be here-say, but in any event we know the score with these things.

The R T E comment line as someone said on another thread is 01 2083434.

A Public Inquiry into R T E over this issue of Shell's odourless gas pipe and the sell off of our natural resources and R T E misreporting of same, I don't know how feasible it is but maybe worth a try ?

BTW A hearty Congrats on the new job,
JK.

author by lulupublication date Thu Jun 11, 2009 22:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The horror is that they commit these obscene human rights abuses with impunity; they are spitting on human rights in Ireland, and the Constitution that was fought for.

author by Artpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 00:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why did the security stay on board until the boat ran out of fuel, why didn't pat cry blue murder on the shortwave as he did beore. This seems to be as vague as Willies attack. Can you answer my two questions. I'm angry about shell, but I'm no red, can you allow this post go up please. This is important.

author by Blacblocpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 01:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Pat O' Connell spoke on Westrn Radio today saying they were held at gun point for two hours! How come even on alt media this is not being talked about, I wonder.

The circumstances of his mayday appear to be that he had to make it at the point of a gun and presumably in that context was unable to say precisely what his difficulty was.

A 'happy' coincidence is that protestors elsewhere in the bay had created enough fuss for a coastguard/lifeboat to be in the vicinity already. This is where the attackers plan seems to have gone wrong. They left the boat when the engine cut out after they scuttled it, leaving the two men alone to fend for themsleves. But their mayday was responded to more quickly than it ordinarily would have been because they had been on their way to kayakers or whover buzzing about Shell vessles elsewhre in the bay when they were diverted to O' Donnell's distress signal.

author by observerpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 05:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I support the call for an investigation. An incident is claimd to have happened. Its various interpretations are reflected in the extraordinarily expressed responses. These are the evidences that a problem exists. Let us sift the evidence to find the truth and its related cause.

The Gardai have shown no will to approach the Corduff case either. Imagine the futile excuse of no complaint made. I do not know why we the taxpayers have had to foot the bill of nearly 20 million euro for police support in Erris and the result of 200 Gardai at peak along with 150 security people fails to address what are rather simple problems. What are they present for? Dozens of daily patrols, checkpoints! Up to 7 Gardai vans sitting outside a high locked Shell fence 24 hours a day. Come off it - if the Gardai can tackle simple drunk driving, local burgalaries... surely they can stretch further than Shell gates into the care of the local community. We pay them for community protection, not sitting in vans outside Shell facilities or are we paying them as extensions of IRMS, the employees of which should also have a facility in the local language since serious mistakes can be made in their statements. After all An Bord Pleanala supplies both languages at its Oral Hearing. How much more security services need to be familiar with both.

Thanks to Joe Higgins - and inded to Ciaran Culffe who made a comment yesterday. How cleverly every politician avoided the elephant in the corner over recent weeks. We listened to numbers and numbers and numbers in the competition for power but not a word about an issue of the people. Disgraceful. Local elections took on an aura far beyond their reality to constituents on the ground. Ask the potholes! Or Broadhaven Bay and the Special Areas of Conservation.

author by Duine Amhainpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 09:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would add to your call that we need a public investigation into the disgraceful conduct of the National Broadcaster R T E, in reporting or rather misreporting reporting these events.

What do you mean by public investigation?

You mean something set up by the government, or something set up by the people?

Surely you don't mean a money sucking, time delaying thing set up by those gobshites in the Dail?

Or do you mean something that we, the sovereign people of Ireland could organise nationwide?

Under Art 6.1 of Bunreacht na hEireann, all powers of government derive from the people whose right it is in final appeal to decide all questions of national policy.

Now, under the circumstances and all the things wrong with this country, if we actually organised a nationwide public enquiry (which we're entitled to do - it's not a subversive thing, it's in line with the Constitution)
I don' think that RTE would be top of the list.

We'd get in the Corrib Gas field all right and the dodgy deal done with it.

RTE would come later.

author by Scribblerpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 09:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am looking forward to a Paul Williams special on this latest action. Doesn't he call his programme ''Paul Wiliams investigates''.
Two chances, of course. Doesn't quite meet the Shell propaganda machine criteria, does it Paul?
Well done to Joe Higgins for commenting.

author by Focuspublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 09:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Paul Williams is irrelevent. So is RTE. Don't expect their support or their objectivity. Much more important is that the campaign focuses on putting forward good spokespeople and its message. You can't control RTE, you can control your own message

author by mattpublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 13:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mayo fisherman Pat O'Donnell, whose trawler was sunk on Thursday morning by armed and masked men, told two Government Ministers six weeks ago that he feared his boat would be attacked by IRMS security staff. His comments are recorded on video.

Speaking at a public meeting in Inver, Co Mayo on 30th April 2009, attended by Ministers Eamon Ryan and Eamon Ó Cuiv, Mr O'Donnell said: "These mercenaries that have been training for the last two months in Killala Bay: am I going to meet them in balaclavas like Willie Corduff met his attackers? I was on my lobster pots yesterday in Broadhaven and I was no sooner there 20 minutes than I had a Shell contracted boat sticking cameras on me and reporting back to Shell. ... What’s going to happen when they come with the balaclavas in Broadhaven Bay to take me out of it? ... I’m asking you tonight: tomorrow morning put a stop to what’s going on in Glengad before it goes on out to the sea."

Caption: Pat O


author by Guardian vs Williamspublication date Fri Jun 12, 2009 13:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

excellent accurate video from the Guardian;

video: The price of gas
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/video/2009/jun/10/shell...eland
Protesters in the coastal Irish village of Rossport gear up for a summer showdown with Shell, as the company prepares to bring a controversial gas pipeline ashore after a decade-long battle

related article: Fuelling the fury
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/jun/10/rossp...shell
As Shell settles a major legal action over protests in Nigeria, closer to home emotions are running high over a gas pipeline near the Irish village of Rossport, sparking violent clashes and bitter recrimination.

Hopefully more and more people in Ireland will awaken as they learn the facts, with that visit rossport, participate, support and stand with those already fighting for justice.

Rossport abu

Guardian video: The Price of Gas
Guardian video: The Price of Gas

author by Hpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 14:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The call by Ciaran Cuffe for an investigation is laughable.
Has he forgotten that his party is in government? This is a classic example of an attempt to have it both ways. It demonstrates that the Green Party is cynical or helpless in government.
Cuffe wants to be anti-establishment and simultaneously a supporter of the establishment.

I'm looking forward to Joe Higgins highlighting this issue in the European Parliament.

author by Seamuseenpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 17:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's well time now that all this intimidation, bullying, and tyranny, was properly investigated and remedied.

Article 13, European Convention on Human Rights Act 2003, Republic of Ireland:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=Articl...&aqi=

author by Mpublication date Sat Jun 13, 2009 20:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Socialist Party website carries an article with the same wording as the original post here, see http://www.socialistparty.net/index.php/news/1-latest-n....html

www.joehiggins.eu also has a shortened version and links to this Indymedia news item, see http://www.joehiggins.eu/2009/06/joe-higgins-mep-condem...boat/

author by Alanapublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Shell and IRMS should be removed from the project, the billions of euro of gas should be nationalised and brought ashore in a safe manner for the benefit of ordinary people across Ireland." (From original article above.)

And, the sooner Shell and IRMS are removed from this project the better it will be for the vast majority of people in the Republic of Ireland: of that I personally have no doubt whatsoever in my mind.

Best wishes Joe, and I hope with all my heart that you get all the necessary support you need -- from the majority of the people of the Republic of Ireland -- to bring this very badly needed idea of yours to fruition.

Shell, History of Environmental and Social Problems:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=active&q=Shell%...&aqi=

author by Topperpublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 13:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I don't think you're familiar with the format of a press release, Bazooka Joe - 99% of press statements are written in that style, "Joe Higgins said ... according to Higgins ... etc." It makes it easier for journalists who are sent the statement to pick out quotes for their articles, sometimes when they are in a rush they print the whole press release more or less unchanged.

author by Bazooka Joepublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Surely Joe is able to speak for himself? He hardly needs somebody to tell us the jist of what he said in their own words. This story claims Joe made a public statement, so what is it? A news story must have a source and a quote otherwise it is just gossip.

Would it be correct to assume that while the Socialist Party is seeking to exploit the incident Joe is not prepared to stand over a statement of condemnation of Shell and IRMS based on the word of the two O'Donnells alone? I would think that would be wise on Joe's behalf and we all know he is wise.

If anywone was able to get this alleged Public statement of a Member of the European Parliament I would love to see it. It is not a press release and the rules of press spinning do not apply. He is an elected representative and we have a right to know what he said. Why is it not printed on the website you give a link to?

author by Eddiepublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One nuance that informs this bickering thread is that one or two posters didn't vote for Joe Higgins.

author by Joe Higgins.eu - Socialist Partypublication date Sun Jun 14, 2009 15:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When posting it up here we took out the quotation marks, but the statement Joe sent to the press is:

"This sinister attack on a prominent Shell to Sea protester marks a new low in the attempt to intimidate people from standing up against Shell's pipeline and refinery. Pat O'Donnell is lucky to be alive today and this attack follows a vicious assault on Willie Corduff by other masked men only a month ago.

A full public investigation must be launched into these crimes. The role of Shell's private security company, Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), must be fully investigated in that process.

Shell spent $9.6 million this week to settle a lawsuit which claimed it was complicit in the execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other campaigners in 1995. This illustrates just how far it is willing to go to protect its obscene profits. Shell and IRMS should be removed from the project, the billions of euro of gas should be nationalised and brought ashore in a safe manner for the benefit of ordinary people across Ireland."

Related Link: http://www.joehiggins.eu
author by Januspublication date Fri Jun 19, 2009 02:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"This sinister attack on a prominent Shell to Sea protester marks a new low in the attempt to intimidate people from standing up against Shell's pipeline and refinery. Pat O'Donnell is lucky to be alive today and this attack follows a vicious assault on Willie Corduff by other masked men only a month ago."

Sinister ? Joe, I beg to differ.
There is nothing "SINISTER" about this act of violence.
The act was just another round in the Irish Govenrments desire to crush any opposition to the personal financial
gains of themselves and their "friends". A blind eye is equal to a green light. And, in this context, a green light is
equal to a request.

NEW low? Again, I beg to differ.
Some thirty years ago, as a friend and I walked peacefully toward our homes, we were set upon by members of the Gardai. The viciousness of the attack? Batons drawn and teeth broken. Ribs cracked. Eyes blackened. Heads kicked. Blood drawn indeed.
I'm afraid there is nothing NEW about these "Govenrment/Garda" tactics.

"A full public investigation must be launched into these crimes. The role of Shell's private security company, Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), must be fully investigated in that process."

Investigation? By who? Appointed public representatives? Maybe we should have a tribunal.
If this was not such a serious issue, I would laugh!

Joe, I believe you mean well, but the core of the problem/s this country has faced and faces is far from the
cold winds of the atlantic ocean.

I hope that the people attacked by the Governments agents recover to full health and I wish them well in their struggle.

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