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Maura Harrington Ends Hunger Strike - Solitaire Gone From Irish Waters

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Friday September 19, 2008 18:56author by FSB! et al. - Rossport Solidarity Camp - Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Maura seals victory over Shell and the state and thanks all who helped on the way

This afternoon, the Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington ended her 10-day-old hunger strike after confirmation that the Solitaire had indeed left Irish waters. She read a statement to the press and the public outside the gates of Shell’s compound at Glengad in Erris, Co. Mayo, and then announced that her hunger strike had come to an end.
Maura delighted with confirmation of the Solitaire's departure
Maura delighted with confirmation of the Solitaire's departure

In what may be seen in times to come as a landmark victory for people power over the will of an overbearing multinational and state power, Maura Harrington ended her 10-day-old hunger strike this afternoon at 3pm after hearing the news that the Shell pipe-laying ship the Solitaire had left Irish territorial waters after over a week of hanging around in Killybegs, Co. Donegal. The Solitaire left Killybegs late last night or early this morning, and is now currently docked in Clyde Port, Glasgow, in Scotland. It remains unclear what the Solitaire’s future plans are; it is hoped it stays away from Broadhaven Bay for the rest of this year.

Maura read a statement to the assembled press and people present at the Shell compound gates. Afterwards, following a brief photo-call, she was hugged joyfully by her many friends present and did the rounds of an elated and relieved crowd. Her energy and good spirits were inspirational after her 10-day ordeal, and once she had finished dealing with the press and accepting the embraces of fellow Shell to Sea campaigners she left with family to begin her recovery at her home.

The text of her statement is:
‘I thank Divine Grace and the support of decent people everywhere that the Solitaire has left Irish territorial waters.

‘The courage of ‘the Chief’, Pat O’Donnell and his son Jonathan, who fought to uphold their rights at sea, and the tenacity of local people, together with national and international support, in their quest for justice is a testament to what is best in all of us.

‘Local people have borne the brunt of Shell’s arrogance and Government neglect for the past eight years. Yet Corrib remains a national issue because the Government continues to put the profits of Shell before the needs of the Irish people. Any alternative location for the Corrib Gas infrastructure will not build new schools, new hospitals or contribute to the National Pension Fund. Until we the People benefit from what is rightfully ours, any attempt to extricate Shell and the Government from the mess that is Corrib remains doomed to failure.

‘It is fitting that the latest episode in the Corrib debacle should occur on the anniversary (by day and date) of the landslides which devastated Glengad and the wider Dooncarton area in 2003. If Shell is capable of any rationality, now is the time for them to accept that they will never put a pipeline through Glengad.

‘I believe that the Shell to Sea campaign gives hope to all who strive for an Ireland that cherishes all its people equally and upholds values that don’t carry a price tag.’

Related Link:

Maura and her son Iollan enjoying the good news together
Maura and her son Iollan enjoying the good news together

Relieved and happy! Maura's daughter Etain and brother Martin
Relieved and happy! Maura's daughter Etain and brother Martin

Photo-call for Maura
Photo-call for Maura

Crowd gathers for Maura's statement
Crowd gathers for Maura's statement

author by FSB! - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 19:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Photo credits FSB!, Conor C, TC, Elinor, Izzy

Maura reading her statement
Maura reading her statement

Congratulations from fellow-campaigners - 1
Congratulations from fellow-campaigners - 1

Congratulations from fellow-campaigners - 2
Congratulations from fellow-campaigners - 2

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author by lulupublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 19:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Wonderful news - carry on with the campaign, keep it roling. I hope them lousy Gardai who've been harrassing Maura & the campaigners are ashamed and repentant!

author by FSB! - Rossport Solidarity Camp - Shell to Seapublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 19:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... for alleged 'safety and environmental reasons'. in fact, the broken-off part of the stinger lies in the path of the proposed pipeline, and is claimed to be 13m long and to weigh 80 tonnes. Today, the salvage/diving ship the Bibby Topaz was in Broadhaven Bay attempting to recover the stinger portion from the seabed. According to some diving and salvage sources the portion on the seabed is too heavy to be recovered in one piece - it'll have to be chopped up underwater and floated to the surface. Probably, it will not be re-attached to the remains of the stinger on the Solitaire.

The Bibby Topaz in Broadhaven Bay looking for the Solitaire's tail
The Bibby Topaz in Broadhaven Bay looking for the Solitaire's tail

Related Link:
author by Ama Carey-Barrpublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 19:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank God!

Yes: Thank Divine Grace. And thank the very existence of Universal Good

(or "God", if you prefer.)

Now it is your Divine Grace-given opportunity and responsibility

to take good care of your own recovery and your lately increadly fragile self.

- Go to it, and heal well, and be blest..

(Your friend John O'Donohue and all of us are with you in spirit.)

- The very same goes for your great and wonderful children, Iollan, Etain, Bebhinn, and herself - Astrid.. - She must take care of MacDara, her precious child and your precious grandson, and David too.

- And they and your husband must take care of your husband. He is terribly important to us all.

- And your lovely, beautiful, wise, unfailing and prayerful mother.

Take first heed to take care of your own precious, precious life. And your precious loved ones. Divine Grace will follow. - This is my sure and uncompromising conviction.

( And my convictions are at least as valid, if not as courageous and passionate as yours !! - Remember "Coinseann Muincheann". - !! - And remembr my stake and attachments to ancestors in public service !! )

For the sakes of my parents' memory - both of whom would have had your
very best spiritual and mental and physical interests at stake, and for the sake of both to whom you should revernce and care - and for the sake of our (exactly!! ) 42-year friendship - since September 1966 - and my sincere passion and desire for that friendship to continue into graceful old age:

Be kind to yourself now! - Take care of what matters most. - Truly love us all
and yourself just as much. And be willing to share fuly the burdens of
communal social justice. - This I beg of you.

- And I truly love, respect and admire you. - "Beir bua go deo. - Ach le Dia"

Stay still, take solace and comfort, heal yourself well, -

And we'll live forever, and to see many brighter dawns.

Love you always, - "Go raibh rath De orraibh uilig."

- Ama.

** My thanks to Indymedia and Shell to Sea.

Ama Carey-Barr.

author by Mepublication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 20:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As Maura is alive and well i assume condition one was met fully. Was it ?

1. On written confirmation by Mr van der Plicht that the Solitaire is outside Irish territorial waters.

author by Margaret O'Regan. - SWP -and- Shell To Sea.publication date Fri Sep 19, 2008 21:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A marvellous result for our side. I salute Maura. Her courage and tenacity will never be forgotten.

Two things are now possible:-

Like Kinsale gas, the Corrib gas must be processed at sea. This has been done in Kinsale, Co. Cork for decades, and without any problems whatsoever.

This gas find should be publicly owned. This is as logical as the banking fraternity clamouring to be nationalised now that they are in financial difficulties.

author by TD - S2Spublication date Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bibby Offshore Ltd, owners of Diving Support Vessel (DSV), Bibby Topaz is an Aberdeen, UK-based subsea contractor, part of Bibby Line Limited of Liverpool.

This vessel, constructed in Trondheim, Norway at the Fosen yard is 107m long, has a beam of 22m, a twin diving bell, 18 man dive system rated to 300m water depth, a working deck area of 1,000m and accommodation for 106 persons and is fitted with a helideck capable of taking 12.8 tons or Sikorsky N92 or equivalent.

Technical management and marine crewing of the Bibby Topaz has been awarded to Meridian Marine Management of Liverpool, a sister company of Bibby Offshore, who also technically manage the Bibby Sapphire and Bibby Aquamarine and the Bibby Group’s jack-up rigs.(for further info see Link)

Bibby Topaz
Bibby Topaz

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author by FSB! - Rossport Solidarity Camp - Shell to Seapublication date Sat Sep 20, 2008 18:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Video credit to Izzy. Maura continues her recovery from the hunger strike ordeal at home in the loving company of most of her family - her husband continues his recovery in hospital from a brutal assault inflicted during arrest back last July. Her bravery and determination is an inspiration to us all - may she live to see the demise of Shell!

Caption: Embedded video Politube

Related Link:
author by me againpublication date Sat Sep 20, 2008 22:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Marvellous Result.....Maybe but ....

How exactly would you like to see the gas find publicly owned ?
Do you think the government should put aside millions to look for oil and gas in the current climate ? Do you think the irish government are a capble lot to develop and control a gas processing terminal....?
If Marathon operated in offshore Kinsale without any difficulties what makes you think a Marathon (18%) on shore terminal would be any worse..?
Which do you think is more closely monitored from an environmental an shore or off shore terminal ?

author by Ishtarceltpublication date Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Would publicly owned mean that it is sold within Ireland, to residents, at half the market price, without VAT, (if the govt were already getting 25% tax from the developer of the field)

Or could it mean that Irish residents don't pay for the gas, but just pay a levy for refining, processing, delivery, maintenance etc?

Or could all the gas go straight to an electricity generating plant, where it is used to make electricity, with a correlating drop in the electricity bill, as coal is no longer being imported?

I'm not an economist, I'm just putting a few ideas forward.

Another question: what happens to the stuff taken out during the refining process? how much is valuable in other industries? Are the radioactive materials valuable; will they be sold on to nuclear concerns? Are there rare isotopes or metals, inert gases, etc, that can be used as superconductors, in circuit boards, mobile phones etc?
Is the consortium planning to process these byproducts at Bellanboy? Or were they planning to transport these radioactive and other (possibly also dangerous) materials through Ireland by truck?

And, ir Ireland secured rights to the gas, would it also include the byproducts, or only the refined natural gas?
I know that some rare metals and compounds are very vvaluable due to their applications in circuitry etc

author by dunkpublication date Mon Sep 22, 2008 18:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good interview, seemingly made by someone making a doc on activism in ireland. This interview is filmed on day three of her hunger strike.
or someones doc on activism in ireland

Maura Harrington - Hungerstride interview - shell to sea campaign
11/09/08 - not sure what day of strike
the revolt video interview with maura

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

Caption: Embedded video Youtube Video

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