Independent Media Centre Ireland

S2S: Standoff in Pullathomas

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Monday June 11, 2007 23:14author by Max

One arrested as Gardai and Shell trample community in Mayo

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And never, go deo, will you win with your corporate way.

There is currently a stand-off between approximately 40 locals and 20 Gards and a bulldozer on the land of Paddy and Bridget McGrath -owners of a pub in Pullathomas.

From 17.00 today (11/06/07) there has been a stand-off between approximately 40 locals and 20 Gards and a bulldozer on the land of Paddy and Bridget McGrath -- owners of a pub in Pullathomas. They also own land down to the estuary near the proposed Shell pipeline where the authorities are attempting to gain access. There has been no mention by the authorities of compulsory acquisition or purchase orders nor have they asked permission to gain access to land. They have simply turned up claiming that they are attempting to build a car park (?!)- a superintendent is said to be on the way. Any local support would be helpful ASAP.

It seems that Rural Planning Services, the company Shell have contracted to find a new pipeline route, have tried to install a container on the bank of the estuary near the solidarity camp at Glengad. A large force of Gardaí have been used to push local people back. It is reported that some of those protesting are the land owners, whose permission had not been sought for the work.

At least one person has been arrested, handcuffed, and taken from the scene.

Updates will follow.

Comments (24 of 24)

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author by IT readerpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 18:20author address author phone

Last Updated: 11/06/2007 18:08
Fire re-ingites near Corrib terminal

Fire fighters in Co Mayo are this evening continuing to battle a forest fire which broke out yesterday around 3km from the controversial Corrib Gas terminal.

The blaze broke out at around 5pm and three units of the local fire brigade were sent to the scene.

The fire was initially brought under control late last night, but the forestry service Coilte called the fire services this morning after the blaze re-ignited.

At the time of writing there were two units at the scene.

Press Association

author by glengladpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 20:35author address author phone

the vessel which will undertake a survey of Sruwaddacon Bay
The vessel which will undertake a survey of Sruwaddacon Bay to assess its suitability to have the high pressure pipeline laid up its center was launched today at the dock in belmullet and made its way to ballyglass pier, from where it will begin its work tomorrow.
the survey is expected to last a little more than a week, and will asses the possibility of having the pipeline reach the refinery without any contact with the land of the objectors (rossport 5).
RPS will hold a information event tomorrow evening (tuesday) outlining the nine possible routes for the pipeline as alternitives to the present disputed route.

author by R. Isiblepublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 21:31author address author phone

Who are RPS? See link below:

Related Link:
author by Tpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 23:24author address author phone

The Gardaí are telling journalists that the person arrested had assaulted a sergeant at the scene. Knowing the person concerned, I find this unbelievable.

author by bpublication date Mon Jun 11, 2007 23:54author address author phone

The ordinary people of this country can't find a guard to patrol their streets but there is no shortage of guards to protect the interests of Shell. Just who is running this friggin' country?

author by Updatepublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 08:35author address author phone

There was a series of incidents in Pollatomais yesterday, which local people are describing a serious escalation of what the Gardaí and Shell are capable of.

Their object was installing a security building at the pier at Pollatomais, near the solidarity camp at Glengad.

Shell's contractor, RPS, intended to site a portacabin type container at the pier at Pollatomais. While there is public access to the pier, and easy pedestrian access, the only roadway suitable for vehicles is private property, and the landowner had given no permission for machinery to use it. There have been landslides in the past, and in his opinion the roadway is unsuitable for the likes of JCBs. It is reported that the owner of the land was on the phone to a solicitor while talking to Garda Superintendent Joseph Gannon, but Gannon walked away in the middle of the conversation. He didn't want to know.

Local people barred the gate to the slip road by standing behind it. However, in a dangerous and reckless act, the Gardaí directed the digger driver to use the machine as a battering ram, and push the gate open while the people were standing at it.

The only way people were able to deal with this dangerous behaviour was to climb on the JCB.

In the jostling that followed, protesters and Gardaí were thrown off the roadway. One protester, from Rossport directly across the estuary, found himself in ditch with a Garda, who was bleeding from a cut on his face from hitting branches at the roadway. He held onto the Garda's jacket to prevent him falling further. The hysterical Garda however hit out and punched him, not realising the danger he was in. When the two were lifted out by other Gardaí and protesters, the local man was arrested and charged with assault!

He has been released and his case will be heard among others related to the dispute at the next hearing of the district court tomorrow.

RPS intend to outline various alternative routes for the disputed high pressure pipeline scheme at an "information evening" tonight. Yesterday's behaviour, when RPS and the Guards tried to literally bulldoze local people out of the way, does not bode well for the future of the scheme.

author by bemusedpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:00author address author phone

"which local people are describing a serious escalation of what the Gardaí and Shell are capable of."
shell wasnt even there it was RPS .
I wonder why S2S are protesting and trying to prevent the survey when it will aid in finding a new safer route for the high pressure pipeline.
they protest when the pipeline is 70mtrs from houses and they protest when an attepmt is made to move it to a safe place (surrounded by "water") with no house close by.
what effect will all this hassle have on the court case of the porturlin 3, I am sure the judge will be influnced by recent actions by S2S.
let me put it this way "you are not doing the chief any favours".
but no doubt it will be "shells fault".

author by Supporterpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:07author address author phone

My God! Eight alternative routes and the Rossport 5 had to spend 94 days over one. Extraordinary that in a matter of months eight new ones can be found. Well worth every moment of protest to guide Shell and its consultants. Appear hopeless at their job. And then they start to examine one of these eight BEFORE AND ON THE EVE OF A PUBLIC CONSULTATION about the eight. Brute force!

author by Squirrelpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:10author address author phone

Bemused if you can't see why people might have a problem with machinery coming unannounced and without permission onto their land then you must be bemused about a lot of things. When you come to some conclusions other than those written on shell press releases let us know.

author by Newspublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:12author address author phone

The proposed pipe up the bay! The bay water laps the fields of the Rossport Five and others. Their houses overlook the bay - just a few more metres farther away that the previous route.

author by pointpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:21author address author phone

"The bay water laps the fields of the Rossport Five and others"
of course it does, but the bay "belongs" to the state.
the 28 landowners who was going to get hansome annual income from the pipeline route going through their lands wont be too impressed at losing it!
so well done S2S you have just got what you wanted. the pipeline moved to a safe location, with the only losers being the 28 landowners of rossport and surrounding areas who were happy to have the pipe .

author by daffy duck - nonepublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:30author address author phone

Bemused states -"I wonder why S2S are protesting and trying to prevent the survey when it will aid in finding a new safer route for the high pressure pipeline."
The thing is, bemused, that the name of the group is Shell to Sea.
Does that not ring a bell somewhere in your head? Could it be that people want the gas refined and processed at sea, which is the norm, rather than in their fields, their estuaries and in a refinery surrounded by a forest which has just gone on fire? This is an example of the state using their muscle to come to the aid of a company against the local community again.
If they are allowed to win this one, who knows what's around the corner as far as human rights are concerned.
And the worst thing about it is, the people of Ireland get feck all out of it, except sponsorship for an International Rally in Donegal.

author by Bikerpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 09:52author address author phone

The bay may belong to the state, but more importantly the oil and gas deposits around Ireland and in its territorial waters belongs to the state, by which I mean it belongs to the Irish people and is held in trust by the government which has sold it off to Shell and other multinationals for a song. Keep up the struggle S2S, you are winning now and you will win in the end.

author by S.D.publication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 12:24author address author phone

No good deed goes unpunished eh? Help a Garda out of a ditch, and get fitted up for assault... I'm sure the Gardai were using kid gloves trying to get the subcontractors JCB onto private property...
I notice how the media mention the stitches to the garda without any context, as if he was battered, rather than mucking about in bushes. They didn't arrest that man for breaking the law, they arrested him for opposing the project in an effective way.

So, the arrest nobody tactic is out the window... but the assaults continue against protestors, and against people's right to private property...
I guess the difference between the delaying tactics with the trucks, and the lock ons, were that as long as the direct actions didn't have any great effect on the operations, the cops could just shove, belt, and drag people off the road, and never mind arresting them.
Now that a handful of people caused them to lose half a day of peat removal, they're getting a bit concerned.

Fair play to all involved in the blockades. You're putting them on the back foot, just when they think their PR smokescreen will give them a nicer image.

author by Taxmanpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 13:27author address author phone

Shell's figures quoted on this site and others don't take account of the expenses that the company can and will write off before they pay a cent in tax.

All the exploration costs going back many years, the cost of construction of the refinery, PR campaigns, advertising, legal costs of prosecuting the Rossport Five and others can be written off in full, that is, one hundred per cent against tax.

The biggest write-off will be the exploration costs of course, meaning that the Irish taxpayer will end up paying for the exploration and exploitation of their own resources. Something Shell and others keep telling us is too much for a small country like Ireland to be able to afford.

Well, we're paying it now, and not getting much to show for it...


author by The Eskimo - westport shell to seapublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 14:29author address author phone

it looks like private property is not sacred
it looks like safety is not being considered
it looks like another forgone conclusion re a route
it looks like the gardai are descending into chaos
it looks like the media are singing one song only
it looks like shell to sea will win.

author by OldBlueBearpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 18:55author address author phone

The message is "Shell Go Home - You lost the WAR when the 5 were jailed". Come RPG go Advantica. You were told months ago No Route can be safe, any route you chouse will remain a major danger to life and the environment. All the time $hell remain in Ireland their presence will remain a major destabilizing influence. As for $hell's black and Tans, the sooner we get a proper Police Service answerable to the people and then lets jail the real crooks. We all know who they are! Victory to the people of Kilcomon!! Sink Bertie!

author by bemusedpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 19:10author address author phone

"The thing is, bemused, that the name of the group is Shell to Sea."
exactly, so why go droneing on about the givaway of natural resources if your objective is simply "shell to sea" why werent you smart eneough to stick to a single issiue where you ""might"" have some hope of at least getting shell to the shoreline?
but the fact you have tied all sorts of issiues into your campaign means you will get nothing!

author by peer reviewpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 19:20author address author phone

Because people like you kept saying that it was all about "progress" and "the national interest" and saying that the Rossport people were"NIMBYs".

author by bemusedpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 19:31author address author phone

"saying that the Rossport people were"NIMBYs"
some of the people of rossport are NIMBY's others were happy to take shells money (rightly) and others are pawns being used by vested intrests.
bertie is there for another 5 years (6 months will be eneough for shell) so harping on about S2S winning is senseless, the battle was lost long ago.

author by Exilepublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 19:50author address author phone

I agree with Bemused completely.

And as for Daffy Duck - what do you know about processing of gas at sea, especially considering that is the aim of your organisation isn't it?? You're honestly telling me that if Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd had proposed an offshore platform at the well heads back in 2001 that all this protestation would never have happened?!?! Get real - Shell to Sea is the most anarchistic thing to happen in Ireland since the May Day riots in 2004 (and I know there were S2S members and supporters involved in them too). Says a lot about your organisation, doesn't it.

This project will go ahead for sure. Your voice in the Dail is now gone (he finished 10th in Mayo out of 13 candidates didn't he?- even Ring got more Rossport votes than the good Dr. did) and the Greens are getting into bed with FF. Time to wake up and smell the mercaptans!!

author by Len Brennanpublication date Tue Jun 12, 2007 21:08author address author phone

Ah, I see your sidekick young Len has provided you with an echo chamber. Bless! I've an idea - why don't we herd all the Shell 2 Sea protesters into a big prison camp and rip out their eyeballs and feed them to the sheep! Then throw them into big vats of acid and make their relatives drink the acid in tea! And then have the relatives trampled by herds of rampant wildebeest! And then fire the wildebeest into space!

Open publishing is a great idea, but sometimes it brings out depths of idiocy in the human character that are perhaps best kept concealed from view.

author by Bonnie Boylerpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 00:14author address author phone

Is this what a country would stoop to?
selling out the national resources, selling out it's citizens, corrupting the Gardai by making them servants of a corporation, and getting them to trespass, use violence to gain unlawful entry to private land, and a superintendent of the force directing a digging machine to advance on people, causing criminal damage and reckless endangerment.
I hope you're proud of yourself Gannon. I'm sure Bertie is happy with you.

author by witness to it allpublication date Wed Jun 13, 2007 13:21author address author phone

The gardai were repeatedly asked to arrest the locals and shell to sea protestors IF THEY WERE DOING ANYTHING WRONG and the gardai refused to do so. They responded with violence and allowed the driver of the JCB to drive directly towards the people trying to deny the JCB access to the private road. I saw the so-called "guardians of the peace" push and throw women to the side in an extremely violent manner. The gardai are not acting by the terms of the Irish Constitution and are being $hells private security force and its a disgrace. The other day dolphins were seen swimming through Broadhaven Bay - its miracles of nature like this that locals are trying to protect as well as their families, community and land.
For how long will the the people of Ireland allow themselves to be treated like this?

Maybe its time those from other areas of Ireland to come here and have a look at what their government is allowing to happen. Take a look at $hells actions in Nigeria and ask yourself if you want that here.

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