This evening at Belmullet court Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington was sentenced to 28 days in prison in relation to an assault at Pollathomais Pier on the 11th June 2007.
This relates to an incident which occurred when Gardaí and Shell used a digger to force their way onto private property against the wishes of the landowner in order to facilitate the laying of a portacabin.
Commenting on the sentence, Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “On the 11th June 2007 at Pollathomais in the region of 20 local people received injuries in relation to Gardaí forcing their way illegally onto private property, yet no Garda has ever been brought to justice as a result of this incident. Instead now that Shell is about to begin their works in Glengad, it seems that the State operation against the community has kicked into gear”
Speaking at Belmullet court, local fisherman Pat O’Donnell stated that “It’s a sad indictment of the country when a brave lady like Maura is put in jail for defending her community and standing up to corruption and greed; while all the corporate executives and bankers seem to only get golden handshakes for their corruption and greed. Maura Harrington is a political prisoner sentenced at the behest of Shell”
Previously during the hearing of the case, Maura Harrington had refused to take the stand in her own defence after Judge Mary Devins refused to allow video footage of the incident to be admitted.
In sentencing Maura Harrington, Judge Devins told of her horror to see the attack of one public servant on another.
Terence Conway stated “I personally have video evidence of numerous of these public servants assaulting members of our community but to date my video footage has never been allowed in court”.
Mr Conway continued “In the last 3 weeks the Gardaí have handed out in the region of 25 summonses to people for their opposition to Shell, so it seems that political policing has commenced in no uncertain manner. It cannot be mere coincidence that all of these summonses are appearing just as Shell is due to re-commence work back on Glengad Special Area of Conservation”.
Maura Harrington also refused to sign a bond that would prevent her from interfering with Shell’s operations in Mayo for a year and also refused to pay €1000 to the Garda Benevolent Fund.
Mr Conway concluded by saying that “Our opposition to Shell’s plans will continue, as we are fighting for the health and safety of our community and the future of the area”.
Also in Belmullet Court today, proceedings against Shell were initiated, which claimed that Shell and their sub-contractors broke a previous court ruling prohibiting them from carrying out site investigations on Rossport Commonage. This was adjourned until the 14th of May to court in Achill.
For verification and further information please contact:
Terence Conway - *************
Notes to Editors
• Judge Mary Devins is the wife of Government Minster, Jimmy Devins
• For more information on the Pollathomais Pier incident see
Irish Times article: Shell apologises for landowner's distress!: http://www.corribsos.com/index.php?id=1445
Irish Times article: http://www.corribsos.com/index.php?id=1444
Indymedia report: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82983
See You Tube clips of sections of the incident here
• For a copy of the video footage of the Pollathomais Pier incident, contact Terence Conway.