At approximately 5.30pm on Wednesday, two swimmers were arrested in Broadhaven Bay by the joint Gardaí and Naval force
As the Solitaires arrival looms large,the state ups the pressure with more frivolous arrests
At approximately 5.30pm on Wednesday, two swimmers were arrested in Broadhaven Bay by the joint Gardaí and Naval force, for opposing Shell's Corrib Gas Project. Both were quite a distance outside of Shell's so-called 'exclusion zone' in the Bay when they were arrested by Gardai jumping towards them from RIBs (Rigid Inflatable Boats). The protest was against preparatory cable work being done before the arrival of the Solitaire. Neither protester was close to any machinery, or stopping any work from taking place. This brings to 22 the number of people arrested this month for opposing Shell.
This forms part of a larger pattern of arbitrary arrest, through which Gardai are seeking to repress peaceful protest against Shell's disastrous Corrib Gas Project. Recent weeks have seen draconian attempts to remand first-time offenders to custody for relatively minor offences, along with very high bail money being demanded for protesters. The attempted criminalisation of campaigners raises very serious questions about civil liberties and the infringing on the right to protest.
Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said: “The hundreds of Gardai and Naval personnel drafted into the area in the last 48 hours shows just how far the government will go to facilitate Shell, despite the fact that this project is completely against the interests of the people of this country. These latest arrests are merely the Gardaí and Navy trying to justify the immense and totally disproportionate force that has been sent down by the State to force this project through”
LE Emer is currently stationed in Broadhaven Bay and Navy RIBs crewed by Gardaí and Navy personnel are currently being used against protestors.