Court Report from Mayo
rights, freedoms and repression |
Monday February 15, 2010 12:07 by Shelver - Rossport Solidarity Camp
Pat O’Donnell jailed as Shell Prepare for Extensive work in Broadhaven Bay
Are you sure the right person was sent to jail?
Yesterday in Castlebar circuit court, appeals involving Shell to Sea campaigners were concluded or deferred, with no further prison sentences being handed out. This follows the jailing on Wednesday of local fisherman Pat O’Donnell, who was sentenced to 7 months in jail for convictions of “breach of the peace” and of "obstructing a Garda".
In total 21 people appeared before Mayo courts this week in relation to protests against the Corrib Gas Project. On Wednesday all fourteen campaigners who appeared before Belmullet district court had their cases adjourned until the special Shell to Sea sitting scheduled for March. From Tuesday to Thursday seven campaigners were involved in appeal cases before Judge Raymond Groarke in Castlebar Circuit Court.
Related Links from Indymedia.ie:
'We Know What You Did This Summer!' - Cork Shell to Sea visits LE Aisling during 'Culture Night' |
Niall Harnett Released on Bail from Custody after 15 Days at Castlerea Prison |
Two Anti-Shell Campaigners Jailed for Civil Disobedience |
A weekend in Erris at the national Shell to Sea meeting |
Shell's Lackey's in the Media Out in Force Again |
Message to an Bord Snip Nua. Resolve the Recession. Tax Shell! |
Reports that Pat the Chief's boat was sunk last night |
Massacre of Indigineous Amazonians in Peru - 25 dead and counting |
The Pirates of Broadhaven Defeat Shell’s Armada |
Prison van carrying Maura into Montjoy blockaded for 20 minutes by Dublin S2S |
Shell security attack Willie Corduff after illegal Glengad compound dismantled |
Scuffles At Mountjoy As Maura Harrington Is Jailed
Commenting on the jailing of Pat O’Donnell, Terence Conway stated “Once again the jailing of Pat O’Donnell shows selective prosecution on behalf of the Gardaí. Pat O’ Donnell was picked out of a crowd of 60 people. The sentences are totally disproportionate to any alleged law-breaking and seem to be a punishment for opposing the Governments' facilitation of Shell”
The co-accused had their jail sentences successfully repealed. Gary Bohan instead recieved a €200 fine and Martin McDonnell recieved a 4 month jail sentence, suspended for 2 years with a bond to keep the peace. From the same event Tony King and Kevin Moran both had fines of €700 reduced to €500.
Terence Conway - who had faced a driving ban of four years for allegedly leaving the scene of an accident – was acquitted. Commenting on his vindication he said: “I am happy with the outcome of this case. It is clear that I have been selectively targeted by the Gardaí for my opposition to the Corrib Gas Project. My thoughts are with Pat O’ Donnell for whom justice has been denied”.
On 11th June 2009, Pat O'Donnell's boat was sunk by 4 armed and masked men in Broadhaven Bay. Later that month both Pat O'Donnell and his son Jonathan were arrested in Broadhaven Bay just prior to the arrival of Shell's pipe-laying vessel, the Solitaire. Both fishermen's boats were impounded, yet no charges were brought against Pat and charges were later dropped against Jonathan. Almost identical arrests occurred in 2008 again just prior to the Solitaire's arrival.
Story of the sinking of the Chief’s boat: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92657
Mr Conway continued “Pat O'Donnell has been a constant thorn in Shell's side as he has refused to be bought off, and has upheld his legal and traditional right to fish in Broadhaven Bay. Now, as Shell prepare to occupy Broadhaven Bay in the coming months for further pipeline work, Pat O Donnell is conveniently stuck in jail”
Maura Harrington had faced 19 months imprisonment for district court convictions. Yesterday, a conviction of assault on a Shell security guard was dropped. The penalty for an obstruction conviction was reduced from a custodial sentence to a 2 year driving disqualification. Dangerous driving convictions were reduced to careless driving, resulting in a 6 month disqualification. Curiously, sentencing for convictions of trespass and cutting of nets were put off for 12 months.
Niall Harnett successfully appealed a conviction of obstruction. A conviction of assault on a Garda was upheld resulting in a sentence of 4 months imprisonment being reduced to 240 hours community service.
Commenting after court Maura Harrington said: “In November last year An Bord Pleanála vindicated our campaign by rejecting Shell’s planned onshore pipeline, and the legality of any installation above the high water mark at Glengad is questionable. We will continue our campaign for the protection of our communities and the country’s natural resources.”
To send letters of support to the Chief write to:
Leaving castlebar Garda barracks
Unjustly sent to Castlerea for 7 months