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Public Inquiry >>

Community walk brings Shell drilling work to a standstill in Sruwaddacon Estuary

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday August 11, 2010 15:52author by Shell to Sea - Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Shell & Gardaí powerless against community action

Yesterday morning forty people from around Sruwaddacon Estuary brought Shell’s survey work in the area to a complete standstill. The community walked out onto the mudflats at low tide to assert their cockle-picking rights and disrupt Shell’s borehole drilling survey.

At around 11.30am people converged at Aughoose and walked down a public right of way onto the mudflats. The group walked to one of the two jack-up barges and prevented drilling by walking underneath the platform. IRMS - Shell’s private security firm – tried to block their free passage but the people prevailed and walked where they pleased. Three people scaled the legs of the barge and occupied them for about four hours. One person chained himself to the one of the drill-shafts in order to stop the work.

Community Walk Out
Community Walk Out

At about midday about 8 people from the group walked down to the other jack-up barge and enjoyed similar success. Commenting on the scarcity of cockles found on the walk, one local said: “They have probably been scared by the noise from the drilling and must have buried themselves deeper down”.

At about 12.30pm 13 Gardaí walked out onto the strand to assist IRMS. Several warnings were given under section 8 of the public order act for people to stay away from the jack-up barges. At about 1pm the Gardaí cut out the person locked to the drill shaft and arrested him under section 8 of the public order act. At about 1.30pm, with only Gardaí and IRMS beneath the barges, drilling work resumed, even though the legs of the barge were still occupied by three people some 3 - 4 metres above ground. The work almost immediately ground to a halt once more however after one person re-entered under the rig. She was roughly dragged out by IRMS security and arrested by the Gardai under section 8 of the public order act. Both arrestees were brought to Belmullet Garda Station for processing and were released later that day.

Meanwhile the breach had an invigorating effect and with more local people arriving the group reoccupied under the barge despite hollow warnings from the Gardaí. At about 3pm with the tide coming back in the group headed for dry land.

Recently, on the 2nd of August Minister Gormley made directions restricting leisure activities to protect Special Areas of Conservation[1]. Minister Gormley stated: “Along with other EU States, Ireland has designated certain areas for nature protection and, in those areas that must be our priority. Many people, indeed, find recreation in the enjoyment of undisturbed nature.”

At the scene Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated: “Despite his recent proclamation Minister Gormley gave the go ahead for this destruction. It seems that there is one law for Shell and another law for the rest of us.”

He continued “The people here have opposed this project for 10 years and will continue to do so to protect our health, safety & environment.”

For further information or verification please contact:

Terrence Conway: 086 0866264

Maura Harrington: 0879591474

Notes for editors:

[1] Minister Gormley's recent directions regarding Special Areas of Conservation

http://www.environ.ie/en/Heritage/NationalParksandWildl...n.htm

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

Occupying under Jack-1
Occupying under Jack-1

Locals Vrs IRMS
Locals Vrs IRMS

Hungry IRMS
Hungry IRMS

Cockle picking!
Cockle picking!

author by Shell to Seapublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 15:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It was a really great day both rigs taken out of action. Gardaí and IRMS were practically helpless. More pictures to follow!

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 16:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tabloid headline?

IRMS winkled out of their Shell.

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 17:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

since the gardai joined IRS and SHell their winkles have shrivelled.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 19:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...just obeying orders...

author by Ruairipublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all who took part, keep up the good work you CAN break the back of sHELL

author by Shell to Seapublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 23:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

More photos from yesterday.

Beat the Boreholes!
Beat the Boreholes!

Occupation
Occupation

Umpire
Umpire

March of the Empire
March of the Empire

Shell health and Safety
Shell health and Safety

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Aug 11, 2010 23:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

from long ago, fado, fado,...

The Keystone Cops.

author by jherek carnelian - S2Spublication date Fri Sep 10, 2010 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In order to bolster their feeble attempts at justifying their ludicrous tunnel proposal at the Oral Hearing in Belmullet, Shelltours

Ltd. have kindly supplied the following whistlestop guide to Erris:

Belmullet Town where Shell lie down,

Tallagh for its pride,

Broadhaven Bay where we dig all day

And Bangor for the ride

Ha Ha. Boom Boom (that's the sound of our pipeline)

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