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Four years since baton charge on peaceful protestors

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | press release author Wednesday November 10, 2010 13:46author by Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Today marks the 4th year anniversary of the baton charge and violence by Gardaí against protestors opposed to the Corrib Gas Project.

The 10th of November 2006 was chosen by the Shell to Sea campaign, as a suitable day of action as it marked the anniversary of the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists who opposed Shell. Over 200 Gardaí were drafted in under the direction of Superintendent Joe Gannon (then Superintendent in Belmullet).[1]
Joe Gannon at the Dept of Finance last week
Joe Gannon at the Dept of Finance last week

Ironically Superintendent Joe Gannon is now Superintendent at Pearse Street Garda Station, which today will be the focus of a protest march in opposition to Garda brutality against protestors. This protest was called in light of the violence that was dealt out to students in Dublin last week. Supt. Joe Gannon was present and personally involved in the scene at the Dept of Finance when students were violently removed from the building.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “In a investigation into Supt. Joe Gannon's handling of a protest at Pollathomais Pier in which 20 people were injured, the Garda Ombudsman recommended to Garda Headquarters that disciplinary action be taken against him. However nothing happened and instead Supt Joe Gannon was promoted and has continued to police protest in the same manner that characterised his time down here in Mayo”.[2]

Commenting on the gas giveaway, Maura Harrington stated “The students protesting last week were out because of the vicious cuts that will be made in the forthcoming budget. Yet in the same week it was revealed that Shell profits for the quarter rose by 18% and also that Shell Ireland have received at least €87m in tax credit so far from the State. Given the current economic state of the country it is well past the time that a proper deal with benefits the people of Ireland was negotiated”.

ENDS

For further information or verification please contact:
Terence Conway
Maura Harrington

Related Links:

[1] Gardai baton - fest : Fear, loathing and injury in Rossport today !
http://www.shelltosea.com/content/gardai-baton-fest-fea...today

[2] Senior garda will not be disciplined over Corrib protest:
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0223/1....html

NOTES TO EDITORS

Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims. 1) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks. 2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted. 3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery.

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