Occupation stops work, road blocking delays haulage
On Tuesday the 13th of November reports had come in that Shell had begun expanding the Glengad compound.
Around midday few of us at the camp house decided to head down for a look, and to see what could be done.
When we got to Glengad we could see two of the sections of palisade fencing had been opened up, and diggers were moving bog mats out onto the field adjoining the landfall compound.
As walked down through another field and crossed over a couple of fences to get to the work, the diggers urgently began to withdraw back into the compound and replace the sections of palisade fencing. A team of 10 IRMS security guards had mobilised to protect the gap in the fence as the workers were restoring it. With the fence in place the IRMS withdrew into the compound all work at Glengad stopped.
We were happy to hang out on the platform and discuss what had happened - how did we stop work so easily?
Firstly, we were on private property - far inside the fence and not a public place - so the Gardaí can't use the public order act down there. More importantly the field isn't owned by Shell - all they have is a CAO - Compulsory Acquisition Order - over it to lay the onshore pipeline through it, so they may have no right to ask us to leave or for IRMS to use force (but we'll see about that).
We went walkabout around the compound to see what we could see - only loads of green palisade fencing and security cameras everywhere.
Shell have big plans for Glengad
They've said in a recent community letter that the current mobilisation is to build the LVI - Landfall Valve Installation. The LVI is an add-on making a bad pipeline design even worse, included in Shell's last planning application for the onshore pipeline in 2010. It's supposed to be able to isolate the offshore pipeline from the onshore pipeline to keep the onshore pipeline pressure below 100bar (still extraordinarily high), but what really came from the last oral hearing is that it actually increases the likelihood of pipeline failure.
Also at some point Shell will need to build a tunnel boring machine reception pit a couple of fields over, in a field they recently bought. This will require a massive mobilisation of lorries for months, again choking up the L1202 road to Glengad like they did this spring.
After a few hours down in the field we headed for home. Over the hill in Pullathomas we met a few friends on the road and just as we stopped we spied another convoy of lorries approaching with a new load for Glengad. There was nothing for it but to stop them - putting a Mayo County Council traffic cone to good use for once. All they had was an IRMS jeep escorting them, and they've no legal power on the road.
After about an hour or so a Garda van showed up, but we were happy enough with the delay caused to Shell and headed off for the evening.
Note: By the way they are coming across the fields with bog mats already it looks like they want to fence off the whole area they have CAOed in Glengad and fence it off. It looks like they might be stuck legally in moving people from down there so its a great time to come and get a feel for what's going on and for getting in the way of Shell.