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Shell to Sea Halt Illegal Shell Works for a Day

category mayo | environment | news report author Wednesday October 21, 2009 21:21author by Jen Debender - RSC Report this post to the editors

"A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing" - Garda Greg Burke MY165

Today, Wednesday 21 October, Shell to Sea stopped work at an illegal Shell site for the entire day when a campaigner climbed onto the arm of a digger which was laying bog mats, in preparation for drilling works.
Stop the Great Gas Giveaway
Stop the Great Gas Giveaway

Shell moved into Glengad this morning, preparing to drill bore holes in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). Shell to Sea maintain that this work is illegal, because Shell do not have planning permission from An Bord Pleanála for the onshore pipeline yet; it is due within the next day or two. Shell confirmed this morning that the only authority they are relying upon to carry out drilling in Glengad is permission from the landowner, but in order to drill on an SAC, Shell must get the permission of the Minister for the Environment under the the EC Habitats Regulations. Mayo County Council was not aware that there was any work being carried out in Glengad today.

In October 2007 Shell were proven to be illegally drilling on an SAC, and Minister for Environment John Gormley ordered them to remove their works and return the habitat to its original form. Commenting on this illegal drilling, Gormley said “The actions of the Shell contractors in entering a Special Area of Conservation and carrying out works without authorisation are a matter of serious concern to me. I find it unacceptable that this has occurred at a time when my Department has been making special efforts to keep in communication with Shell during the course of this project to date.”

Shell are now trying to do it again in the same SAC, two years later- however they've found it impossible with people climbing onto their machinery and occupying it. An entire day's work was stopped today when locals residents entered the field where Shell was working. Shell was using a digger/forklift to place bogmats on the field, preparing for heavy machinery to be able to drive onto the field. Campaigners and locals stood around for a bit watching this happening, and before long the Gardaí showed up with their cameras and their Section 8. The Gardaí were told that the work going on was illegal, that Shell had no permission to be drilling in an SAC. Unsurprisingly they were only interested in making sure the Shell lorry with the bogmats got through. Overall this was the extent of the Gardaí's involvement (besides the usual harassing and peering into car windows). The Guards seemed to want to leave it with IRMS to deal with people on the private land (where their Section 8 doesn't apply).

When people started entering the field, IRMS initially got rough, shoving and throwing people around, but Jim Farrell (their boss) told them to “Calm down lads, let them go” and he had to 'reign them in' a few times. One campaigner sat on a pile of bog mats for a period of time, while the Shell workers continued laying bog mats from other piles and left him there. After a period of time, they needed the pile of bog mats the person was sitting on, and as a handful of IRMS surrounded him to try and move him, another campaigner made a run for the digger and climbed up the arm. Immediately Dimitry S, an IRMS employee who has testified against Shell to Sea people in the past, was pulling at the campaigner's leg, despite him being in a precarious position. His boss, Jim Farrel, had to tell him to stop and let go of the person's leg, because it was clearly unsafe. The digger-occupier stayed up there for six hours, and there was lots of support from the community. Locals showed up bringing tea and sandwiches for the crowd that had gathered on the road. Once all the workers had gone home and it was clear that a day's work had been successfully stopped, the digger-occupier got down from the arm without much hassle.

Overall it was a good day, though IRMS seems increasingly frustrated, blatantly antagonising the local community. After the digger-occupier had gotten down and as other locals were leaving the field, one of the IRMS quietly dared one of the local people to 'just try and do this when it gets dark'

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





author by Photos by Various Peoplepublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 21:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More Photos






author by Photos by Various Peoplepublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 21:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More Photos

Climbing up
Climbing up

Security ID of the IRMS guard who endangered the climber's safety
Security ID of the IRMS guard who endangered the climber's safety


Coming down
Coming down

All in a day's work
All in a day's work

author by Photos by Various Peoplepublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 21:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Final Photo


Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Chrissie - Shell to Sea Cambridgepublication date Wed Oct 21, 2009 22:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Solidarity to the mighty few who stood against the SHell machines!

author by Werewolfpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 01:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done! 6 hours is a long time to be sat up on top of a digger. Keep it up!

author by lulupublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 08:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done, all the defenders of the land. Interesting that the thuggish 'security' boys were reined in by their boss; have they realised that their excesses have scored own goals I wonder.....

author by bujupublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

long live the resistance!

author by Rainbow's endpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 17:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by Liam - shelltoseapublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 21:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

mind they don't try to penalise on a section 3.14 of emitting rainbows on private property as a provocation to peace without displaying a license.....

well done all of you,

that comment about 'after dark' - have any of their usual floodlights been set up at the site?

just came from talking to Cork Coca Cola workers who had scabs move in on their strike yesterday and so are now also keeping a 24hour watch at their bottling plant where they've chained the stock in - none of them have any current income, and now that Coke have upped the ante requiring them to monitor it 24hours they'll surely be feeling the same drain that those in Mayo have had to withstand for so long.
Attached a rundown of their situation below but there's nothing up online since its escalated to a 24 hour watch.

Related Link: http://www.socialistparty.net/index.php/news/workplace/242-coca-cola-workers-in-battle-to-save-job.html
author by Marc Springpublication date Thu Oct 22, 2009 22:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Keep it up! Love and admiration. Especially for getting the IRMS man's security ID up on the web. It'll help tackle the culture of impunity. You can be sure IRMS keep an eye on Indymedia.

author by roobarbancustardpublication date Mon Oct 26, 2009 20:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Have just watched the latest edition of the programme Would You Believe?. I thought Willie and Mary Corduff came across very well and were proof (if any was needed after nine years of struggle) of some of the suffering that has been going on in the local community of Rossport caused by the illegal activities of Shell and the Government (Fianna Fail). Mary and Willie also showed that love will triumph. Congratulations also to the programme's producers and director.

Well done Mr and Mrs Corduff and to all the Corduff family for your loyalty to one another, your community, the environment but also your faith in God. Which should be an example to all of what true faith means. It is two and a half years since Willie won the Goldman Environmental award. Maybe now he should meet with the new President.
God Bless you Willie and Mary

author by Damienpublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

True. I didn't get to see this but maybe people can pass on their gratitude for RTÉ actually showing something pro-Rossport

author by Cpublication date Tue Oct 27, 2009 10:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Would you Believe that RTE showed a programme that didn't make all the protestors look like terrorists.

You can see the programme online here:

Related Link: http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1058558
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