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Shell to Sea campaigner attacked at sea last night

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday July 15, 2010 11:06author by Gary - Dublin Shell to Sea Report this post to the editors

Garda tells campaigner, “I have your last breath in my hands”

At approximately 7pm last night a number of Shell to Sea campaigners entered the water in Broadhaven Bay in kayaks and rafts in a peaceful attempt to prevent Shell from bringing in a borehole drilling platform. They were met with 5 Garda water unit boats, with approximately 16 Gardaí on board.

Campaigners attempted to approach the platform but were prevented from doing so by Gardaí who overturned their kayaks.

One of the campaigners, Eoin Lawless managed to get close to the platform. When Gardaí overturned his kayak, he swam under the platform. A Garda then jumped into the water after him, and without giving any instruction proceeded to drag him from the water into the near by Garda boat.

Mr. Lawless said, “I had told Gardaí that I would leave the area but I was dragged from the water and they proceeded to kneel on my back. I was not informed whether I was under arrest or why I was being manhandled. One Garda then pinched my throat with his two fingers and cut off my air supply. He was obviously trained in how to do it. He held me like that for about 90 seconds, allowing me to take one or two gasps. He kept saying into my ear that he had my last breath in his hands.”

“It was terrifying. I truly believed he might kill me. We need human rights observers to come back down to Mayo as a matter of urgency**” said Mr. Lawless.

Mr. Lawless received medical attention at Belmullet Garda station last night.

Shell plan to drill up to 80 boreholes to survey the Sruth Fhada Chonn estuary for it’s proposed raw gas pipeline. The boreholes are to provide a survey of the estuary to determine the final plans for the tunnel Shell plans to build under the estuary linking up the offshore pipeline with the proposed inland refinery. The new route is still within 250m of several houses and the local community remains opposed to the plans. The estuary is a Specially Protected Area & part of the Broadhaven Bay Special Area of Conservation. The operation will damage parts of the estuary & disturb the wildlife there, particularly Atlantic salmon, otters & birds found on the intertidal areas.

Shell to Sea plan to try to stop Shell from drilling the boreholes over the next few months through a campaign of peaceful protest.

ENDS

For further information or verification please contact: Shell to Sea

NOTES TO EDITORS

Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims. 1) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks. 2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted. 3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery.

* This figure, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, estimates the amount of gas and oil in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland ’s west coast, to be 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent). Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for June 2010 at $75.34 or €59.61, this works out at a value of €596 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland ’s south coast or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.

** Frontline report: 'Breakdown in Trust': http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/ 2474 (see p.51)

author by Dublin Shell to Seapublication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 11:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Will publish pictures and more info as we recieve it.

author by RedOakpublication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 16:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm thinking that the water borne variety of Gardaí fancy themselves as being some sort of navy seal type outfit. If that Garda was whispering that crap in that man's ear than it just goes to show the calibre of a***hole that makes it to the 'elite' units. It seems that the whole misuse of martial arts by meat heads has spread to the Gardaí now , the odd dodgy bouncer must be giving them C grip lessons. The garden variety pot bellied high vis wearing boys tend to go for the grab and swing method of protest control. It is however good to see a former Statoil board member criticising the Irish governments actions in relation to the Corrib gas field.

Related Link: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0712/1224274512343.html
author by Marypublication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is any news of this getting into the mainstream or have they got it choked off again ? pardon the pun Eoin, hope your'e getting better.

There is no shortage of goons in the 'gardai' willing to do their bit for facism, helped along by the Pat Kennys etal of this world.

author by Paul Lynchpublication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 19:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I hope there's no lasting damage done, i hope ye are all ok. Fair play, talk soon.

author by Michael G.publication date Thu Jul 15, 2010 20:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Some useful times for anyone on the Dublin route going to Castlerea Prison on Saturday 17th July for Pat 'The Chief'' O'Donnell's release from prison. There's only one bus (020) to Castlerea, County Roscommon from Busarus, 9am Saturday - arrive 12.15. Daily bus from Busarus to Ballina @ 1pm with 6.10pm connection to Belmullett, Rossport.

There will be a protest/concert outside the jail at 2pm in celebration of Pat's release which is also in support and solidarity with Shell to Sea activist Niall Harnett, who still has just over a month of his sentence to serve.

Please pass on. tnx.

©Left
©Left

author by míol mórpublication date Fri Jul 16, 2010 00:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you`re looking for coming to Rossport Solidarity Camp, don`t try to get to Rossport. The camp is situated on Pullathomas/Glengad side of Sruwaddacon estuary.

If you get bus to Ballina you can get transport from a private bus company called McGraths (097) 87842. Get to the bus stop early to look out for a McGraths minibus and flag it down! Ballina- Minibus leaves at 5pm from outside Dunnes Stores, that is, from the carpark beside the Humbert Monument (15-20min walk from bus and train station).
If you are coming from Castlebar- Minibus leaves from 5pm from beside the drop off point for the Bus Eireann buses. McGraths run every day except Sundays (return from graveyard 10.30 a.m. Monday to Saturday, 12 euro return, 10 euro single). They will drop you off directly in front of the camp gate.

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