Dublin Shell to Sea holds solidarity demonstration at Shell HQ
Dublin Shell to Sea yesterday held a demonstration in solidarity with Niall Harnett who spent his 100th day in prison for opposing Shell's experimental gas pipeline in Erris. That morning another 7 people were arrested while protesting the pipeline testing in Sruwaddacon estuary Special Protested Area.
According to Shell to Sea "Work was delayed for two hours by campaigners who used a rope to block the progress of Shell's drilling platforms, as part of the community's 'Beat the Boreholes' campaign."
It emerged in May that oil and gas service company Transocean, which built the Gulf of Mexico disaster rig Deepwater Horizon, also built the Corrib gas wellhead This revelation may be part of the reason why The Western People has a very strongly worded editorial on the "monumental folly of Bellanaboy plan" (where Shells' refinery is under construction). The Western People says "Bellanaboy was chosen because it was a quick-fix solution for a lazy Government that couldn't be bothered regulating the exploration industry in the same way it couldn't be bothered regulating the banking sector. Rather than force the promoters of Corrib to jump through a series of regulatory hoops, the Government became a simpering cheerleader for exploration companies, as it did for bankers and developers."
The WP editorial concludes that "The only conclusion one can reach is that Corrib is a microcosm of everything that is wrong in the Irish State. Already a decade behind its original schedule, it is a fitting memorial to a feckless, bungling Government that has dumped this country and its people in an economic dustbin. What is even more depressing is the realisation that the priceless natural resource at the heart of this sorry saga has been handed over free gratis to a multination whose annual profits equate to half of the entire tax revenue of this State."
Shell have spent millions on PR and trying to buy local community support in the area, their latest newsletter details the spending of 81,000 euro in Kilcommon alone. Despite this the steady resistance of the people of Erris to the experimental pipeline has resulted in the facts emerging and even local mainstream media like the Western People (which will presumably now lose the large sums Shell spends on advertising in the local press) taking stronger and stronger positions in opposition to the project.
Shell's and the state's response has been to step up the repression in a desperate attempt to force the project through. Niall's jailing is part of that process, you can write to him at
The full Western People editorial is at http://www.shelltosea.com/content/latest-corrib-delay-e...-plan