Independent Media Centre Ireland

Pat & Jonathan O'Donnell Arrested and Boats Commandeered by Gardai As Solitaire's Arrival Imminent

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday June 25, 2009 11:09author by FSB! et al - Rossport Solidarity Camp

Fishermen arrested for the crime of fishing in Broadhaven Bay

In a reprise of last year's repeated arrests on the waters of Broadhaven Bay, Shell's Gardai have arrested Pat 'the Chief' O'Donnell and his son Jonathan while they were fishing in Broadhaven Bay this morning. Their two boats were commandeered by Gardai and brought to Ballyglass pier under tow and naval escort. Gardai claim that the two boats were 'loitering', the new term for criminalising fishermen exercising their rights to fish in their native waters. Pat's brother Martin is currently still on the water in the bay fishing in his boat. Meanwhile the Solitaire is less than an hour away from arriving off Glengad.
Shell's Gardai blocking access to public beach this morning - 1
Shell's Gardai blocking access to public beach this morning - 1

Earlier this morning Pat and Jonathan O'Donnell were arrested by Gardai while exercising their right to fish in Broadhaven Bay, waters that Pat and his family have fished for five generations. Gardai boarded the O'Donnells' two vessels, arrested the men for 'loitering', and brought their vessels under tow and naval escort to the nearby pier at Ballyglass. All this happened while Pat and his boat was under Garda 'protection'. Jonathan has been taken to Ballina Garda station, but there is no word as yet of where Pat is detained. Pat's brother Martin is still fishing in the bay at the time of writing.

In another development, a mixed group of thirty-five regular and public order Gardai have taken up a position on the beach adjacent to the Rossport Solidarity Camp, presumably in an attempt to prevent actions happening on the water today. When the Gardai were asked by campers and locals what lawful authority they had to do this they were not answered by any Garda.

The pipe-laying ship the Solitaire is due to arrive in Broadhaven Bay in an hour or so, as of the time of writing. The arrest of the fishermen and their processing by Gardai in distant stations is a blatant attempt to facilitate Shell's project works in the bay with every underhanded method at their disposal. If there ever was a time to get to Mayo to support this community fighting back against state corruption and corporate greed it is now!

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Shell's Gardai blocking access to the public beach this morning - 2
Shell's Gardai blocking access to the public beach this morning - 2

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