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Merthyr to Mayo Cycle Arrives in Ireland!

category cork | environment | news report author Tuesday May 25, 2010 13:20author by Ray - Cork Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Cork hosts arrival of solidarity cyclists destined for Rossport

Nearly thirty cyclists who had started off from Merthyr Tydfil in Wales the previous day arrived in Ringaskiddy on the ferry early on Monday 24th of May. They passed through Cork city on their way up the west coast to Rossport, Co. Mayo, and were joined by a dozen-strong cycle contingent from Spain, who had cycled all the way from Madrid, also linking struggles against fossil fuel extraction in Spain with those in Wales and here in Ireland.
Tree Planting Sun. morning
Tree Planting Sun. morning

On a weekend when Pat O'Donnell and Niall Harnett spent their 100th day and one month in prison respectively for opposing Shell's Corrib Gas project, a weekend of activities happened to anticipate the arrival of the Merthyr to Mayo cyclists and to celebrate the arrival of the Madrid to Mayo cyclists to Cork on Thursday.

From Saturday to Monday a camp was set up at the site of the proposed (and hopefully never to be built) national toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy. On Saturday night there was a beach party to celebrate the arrival of the Madrid to Mayo cycle tour, which was an enjoyable (if raucous) affair. On Sunday morning, the campers planted trees on the Ringaskiddy site – it is intended to become a 'people's forest' over time, and the trees already planted these last five years are doing very well – and took a walk around the never-to-be-built incinerator site, from the hill above which excellent views of Cork Harbour can be seen.

On Sunday night at the Cruiscín Lán on Douglas St., Cork Shell to Sea organised a benefit cabaret with a galaxy of musical and spoken word acts whic went down well with the very supportive audience. The gig raised a good deal of much-needed money for the cycle and the local Shell to Sea group. Many thanks are due to the management of the Cruiscín Lán for hosting the gig, and for defying local Garda pressure on them to cancel the gig.

The Merthyr to Mayo cycle contingent arrived at Ringaskiddy Ferryport at about 5a.m. On monday morning, and were met by the overnight campers, who first brought them to the campsite for bowls of nourishing porridge, to join up with the Madrid to Mayo cyclists, and a formal welcome to the Irish leg of their journey. From there it was on to Ringaskiddy community centre, for an early breakfast and to meet the local campaigners against Indaver's plans for a toxic waste incinerator right next to Ringaskiddy village on a site prone to flooding.

The cycle tour reached Douglas Street just before noon, where lunch was ready for them in the beer garden of Fionnbarra's (thanks once again!!). After food, rest and chat, the cyclists saddled up again to cover the very short distance to the peace park on the Grand Parade (aka Bishop Lucey Park), where the cyclists gave out newspapers explaining the puepose of the Merthyr to Mayo cycle ride, did a quick bicycle repair workshop (with assistance from Rothar Cycles of Cork), and also performed a quick piece of street theatre.

At just after 3p.m. The now fifty-strong cycle contingent assembled at the gates of the park for a final photo-call and to prepare for departure. After some final words of thanks from local Shell to Sea campaigners, the cyclists took a Critical Mass-style circuit of Cork city centre before heading west to Macroom in the blazing afternoon sunshine.

In Merthyr Tydfil in the valleys of South Wales the local community is opposing the creation of a massive open-cast pit coal mine, which will have a devastating impact on the local environment and air quality. The Madrid to Mayo cyclists also have encountered and lent solidarity to local campaigns against proposed oil refineries and nuclear power plants on thir route from Madrid to Santander on the northern Spanish coast. And when they all arrive in Rossport in time for the June Bank Holiday Weekend Gathering, they will have given much-needed solidarity and publicity to the ongoing community struggle against Shell's unwanted and unfair Corrib gas project. May all the cyclists have a wonderful journey and arrive safely to Mayo.

Merthyr and Madrid to Mayo abú!

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

Around the campfire Sat. night
Around the campfire Sat. night

An alder sapling - now growing in the People's Forest!
An alder sapling - now growing in the People's Forest!

Giving a message from Madrid to Mayo at the benefit cabaret
Giving a message from Madrid to Mayo at the benefit cabaret

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A short selection of the performers on the night.

merthyr2mayocork4.jpg

merthyr2mayocork6.jpg

merthyr2mayocork7.jpg

merthyr2mayocork8.jpg

merthyr2mayocork9.jpg

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 13:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos from Monday lunchtime.

The Merthyr to Mayo cycle is arriving!
The Merthyr to Mayo cycle is arriving!

Parking up the bikes (thanks Prof. Gaucho!)
Parking up the bikes (thanks Prof. Gaucho!)

Lunchtime at Fionnbarra's
Lunchtime at Fionnbarra's

Lunchtime at Fionnbarra's - 2
Lunchtime at Fionnbarra's - 2

Merthyr 2 Mayo @ the peace patk
Merthyr 2 Mayo @ the peace patk

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos of the cyclists in the peace park and on their circuit of the city centre.

Banner display @ the peace park
Banner display @ the peace park

Cyclists assemble at the park gates
Cyclists assemble at the park gates

Starting the circuit of the city centre
Starting the circuit of the city centre

The Merthyr to Mayo Cycle on Patrick St., Cork.
The Merthyr to Mayo Cycle on Patrick St., Cork.

Completing the circuit, across from Daunt Sq.
Completing the circuit, across from Daunt Sq.

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 13:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's hoping the cyclists have a trip to remember, and thanks for all the solidarity.

On their way to Mayo - Merthyr abú! Madrid abú! Shell chun Sáile abú!
On their way to Mayo - Merthyr abú! Madrid abú! Shell chun Sáile abú!

author by Ray - Cork Shell to Seapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 13:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some scenes from the piece performed by the cyclists in the park.

merthyr2mayocork15.jpg

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author by V for vendettapublication date Tue May 25, 2010 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

what gardai were involved in pressuring the cruiscin and how did they go about it. If we don't name names then they get away with it.

author by tracyw - cork s2spublication date Tue May 25, 2010 21:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

lovely camera work Ray, thanks !

i must say it was a sight for sore eyes seeing everybody cycling up patrick street in the middle of cork city, music playing,banners and flags flying and smiling faces, i was buzzing with energy just after watching ye all nice one for having this great idea in the first place and then doing it people!

as for the guards..yes v we have his name. as for publishing it here on indymedia if that's what you're asking us to do, what action to take will be discussed at our de-briefing, there are other people involved in the issue surrounding this incident to consider.

its worth noting we didn't have interference from the regular guards on the day even though we were expecting some. we did have one quite shocking incident with a garda in an 'armed response unit ' vehicle who, when approached by a campaigner with a leaflet quite aggressively refused to take it, and when said campaigner then left the leaflet on the bonnet of the vehicle, the garda lost control of himself with rage shouting and getting white in the face...these guys are armed, people, and they are on a hair trigger

later on in the cycle a motorist lost control of herself with road rage and ran over one of the groups' bicycles, with the rider still on it but luckily unhurt, causing 180 euros worth of damage and not even so much as apologising for attempting to kill someone, in fact was full of righteous indignation at being told her insurance would have to pay, and was more interested in whether her bumper had a dent than if she had hurt the cyclist because she thought she had a right to run over a bicycle who wouldn't get out of the way of her car.

well this is what we're here for, not only to highlight environmental issues but also the mental issues arising from abuse of power on every level

great cycle though lads and good luck and love for the rest of your trip, see you in Rossport!

author by Martha - Shell to sea Gortpublication date Wed May 26, 2010 08:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Welcome to all cyclists from Merthyr and Madrid and everyone else joyning the group from Ireland!!
We are looking forward to seeing you all in Gort with that vibrant energy!
Well done for the lovely and very possitive article!!.

author by cycle clipperpublication date Wed May 26, 2010 10:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to see pictures of the Cork welcome. Keep pedaling bikers! May the weather and the people welcome youse to Gort.

author by dunkpublication date Wed May 26, 2010 13:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Across the planet, in the places where fossil fuels are sourced, people are resisting new energy developments.

Communities are standing together to defend their homes, health, land and water, and our shared planet… This is localised resistance with huge global significance….

From the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the woods of Mainshill, Scotland….

from the rivers and plains of the Niger Delta to the Amazon jungles of Peru….

and

from the valleys of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to the Northwest coast of Mayo, Ireland…


chemy, dia dhoibh

great to see this event happening, love to be there with ye, rossport y merthyr abu...

hopefully we will see this fine report, much thanks ray, appear as a feature soon...

step by step, the communities in struggle are getting better connected...

slán, dunk

http://www.merthyrtomayo.org/
https://earthfirst.org.uk/actionreports/node/23748

peru massacre, 1 year anniversary saturday week
http://itsafunnyoldworld.wordpress.com/2009/06/08/bagua/
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92604

Across the planet, in the places where fossil fuels are sourced, people are resisting ... Merthyr Tydfil, Rossport, Bagua
Across the planet, in the places where fossil fuels are sourced, people are resisting ... Merthyr Tydfil, Rossport, Bagua

Merthyr to Mayo Cycle Caravan
Merthyr to Mayo Cycle Caravan

Bagua - Perus bloody sunday, 1 year anniversary sat week, world environmental day... La lucha sigue!!!
Bagua - Perus bloody sunday, 1 year anniversary sat week, world environmental day... La lucha sigue!!!

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Wed May 26, 2010 23:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fáilte to all on the Merthyr Mayo cycle - wishing you safe, happy cycling and looking forward to meeting you all along the way.

Gura míle maith agaibh - thanks a million for your enthusiasm, commitment and goodwill.

author by Rachel - s2s switzerlandpublication date Fri May 28, 2010 09:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

dear cyclists!

what a wonderful idea to bring your local protest to the people of wales and ireland with your caravan - i really like this project!

wish you all the best and safe journey for your second cycling-week.

in solidarity from switzerland, rachel.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Sun May 30, 2010 10:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

BP's 'Top Kill' attempt to tame their blowout has failed.Still no accurate figures to quantify.Seems to fluctuate from BP's 1000 barrels a day up to some academic estimates of up to 100,000.Estimating another two months for their next shot in the dark to hopefully have effect.Lets hope Obama has the cojones to use this shit to put manners on the oilygarchs.Doubtful.Meantime the mainstream is studiously avoiding the flotilla to Gaza.
Goebbeldegook on all channels.

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