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Gardaí assault Shell to Sea campaigners.

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Wednesday April 06, 2011 00:20author by Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

“Push them back lads, and push them back hard!” – Sergeant Murphy MY13

A woman was seeking medical attention in Belmullet yesterday after a Garda punched her in the stomach outside a Shell compound in Co. Mayo. The assault occurred as Gardaí were forcing a protest off the public road in front of the work site.

The protest began at about 1pm when 8 Shell to Sea campaigners gathered at the side of a public road to block the haulage of material to newly erected Shell site at Aghoos Co. Mayo.

At the beginning of the protest, work on the site stopped and the roadside entrance was chained closed by security personnel.

Gardaí soon arrived under charge of Sergeant Murphy MY13. After about 40 minutes work had restarted inside the compound. A trailer of bog mats had been unloaded and when the tractor was ready to exit the site Jim Farrell - head of Shell security in Mayo - called Sergeant Murphy to the gate and spoke to him.

Soon after Sergeant Murphy ordered the protestors to leave under section 8 of the Public Order Act. In a matter of seconds he and about 20 Gardaí began to move the protest by force. The protestors linked arms and sat down in front of the Shell gate.

The Gardaí pulled the protestors by the arms and legs and dragged or carried them along the road to the ditch. The protestors resisted passively and many managed to get back to their positions by running around the Gardaí.

The Gardaí forcefully removed most of the protestors again to one side of the Shell gates. One protestor ran back along the ditch but was grabbed and thrown to the ground by a Garda, kneeled on, and punched. Another Garda came from behind and kicked him.

Sergeant Murphy issued the order to: “Push them back lads, and push them back hard!”

The Gardai then formed a cordon across the road and cleared the protestors to one side of it blocking access along the road towards to Shell compound entrance.

One protestor went around the side of one of the Garda vans to get past the cordon, but Garda MY259 came around the side of the van and punched her in the stomach. The woman screamed and lay on the side of the road badly winded. The assault was reported immediately to Sergeant Murphy but was ignored.

The campaigners continued to try to walk up the road for another half an hour but were met with persistent force from the Gardai. Outnumbered by Gardai and brutalised, the protestors met and decided to end the protest.

One of the assault victims recieved medical attention in Belmullet but is now at home resting.

Spokeperson for Shell to Sea Terrence Conway stated: The Garda violence today is no aberration: it has been the main tool used by Shell and the state in trying to force this project on a community that has given no consent.

He continued: Despite years of Garda abuse and harassment this community will never give in.


Details of Shell’s proposed work schedule:’s-proposed-work-schedule

Terence Conway 086 0866264
Maura Harrington 087 9591474


Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims:

1) 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.

2) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary environmental, health and safety risks.

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.

*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of gas and oil in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent).

Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south coast or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.

author by RSC - RSCpublication date Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photos of violence

Blocking Shell gates
Blocking Shell gates

Gardaí drag people away
Gardaí drag people away

more dragging
more dragging

more violence
more violence

dragging along the road
dragging along the road

Related Link:
author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Wed Apr 06, 2011 15:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The government is shocked at the language of the rapist statement cops. It is unexcusable for gardai to use this type of threatening language against women. To beat women is one thing but to talk about raping them is another.
When police are encouraged to behave like criminals we should not be surprised if they become criminals.

author by observerpublication date Wed Apr 06, 2011 18:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Protestors are lifted from protest positions and not dragged. Gardai need to apply what they have learned in public order training on protest. The problem is application - they knew as from the transcript the proper way to take down a protestor from a height. And I have watched them do that efficiently in 2009, Why change the practice.? Why be so lacking in professionalism? Why are the Garda authorities not present or is there another master, another agenda... such as was admitted before by the Gardai when beating was preferred to arrest.- agenda was not to make martyrs!

author by U.K. watchingpublication date Wed Apr 06, 2011 21:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Gardai work for Shell. The Irish Government gave this monstrous multinational permission to rape the land and sea, are we surprised that the "thugs and bullies" in uniform then threaten to rape the protesters ?

author by Diarmuid Breatnach - Personal Capacitypublication date Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Spokeperson for Shell to Sea Terrence Conway stated: The Garda violence today is no aberration: it has been the main tool used by Shell and the state in trying to force this project on a community that has given no consent.

Indeed. It is and remains the main issue about policing at Rossport and will continue to be so after the publicity glare around a recent Garda incident has died down. Fair play to the protestors who continue with this protest in the face of state violence protecting the ripping off of Irish assets by a foreign multinational.

author by Peterpublication date Wed Apr 13, 2011 13:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Speak to people like Kevin and Karen Tracey about what gardai can do when instructed to do wrongdoing including assaults causing bodily harm when the same gardai are told they will get away with it and in most cases will get promotion. It is an outrage.

author by surprised southwestpublication date Sun Jul 17, 2011 22:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

its shocking to view and read stories about the gardai and there obvious brutality of the public, they seem to think they themselves are above the law, they appear brutal and there should be a public watchdog set up to keep gardai from being THUGS AS IT SEEMS............

author by Family Guy Judgepublication date Mon Jul 18, 2011 01:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Obvious brutality? Why because some people with an agenda make unsubstantiated claims on a website? I can claim that Gardai are aliens, doesn't make it true.

A public watchdog? Like an ombudsman perhaps? An agency with more power over the Gardai than Gardai have over society? Yeah sounds great. Such an agency would surely show how corruption is widespread within the Gardai and have the entire force before the courts. Oh wait, there is one and they have convicted sweet FA Gardai and admitted themselves theres little corruption. Bit of a spanner in the works that...

author by Fearbolg - S2Spublication date Mon Jul 18, 2011 23:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Stop trying to be clever with the badly constructed ironical bullshit and admit what you are - an apologist who will support the

Gaurds in anything they do, including the rape and assault of protesters, both regularly threatened on the roads of Erris,

a long way away from your comfort zone where you're happy in the belief that we live in a Democracy where we're all equal in

the face of the Law. But if you want to see the reality, come to Belmullet District Court any time there's a Shell to Sea case being

heard and watch the Legal Process being trampled on like a protestor under a Garda's boots at Glengad. Something tells me

we won't see you any time soon.

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