Friday, September 14, 2007


The group Shell to Sea protested today at Shell’s proposed Bellanaboy refinery site in in Ireland to highlight the ongoing community campaign against the controversial Corrib gas development. There were arrests and injuries reported.

The protesters aim to halt work at the controversial site as part of the ongoing attempt to have the Corrib gas processed offshore.

“Shell to Sea is steadfastly opposed to the ongoing activities on the Corrib gas refinery and associated pipeline, and again call on those willing to bring about an end to the current project by all legitimate means. Only then can a lasting solution of benefit to all be fully realised,” said John Monaghan a spokesperson for the group.

Earlier this week Caoimhe Kerins, of Dublin Shell to Sea, said in the Irish Times it was not too late for people to join the cause. "Shell have yet to start building the inland refinery," she said.

"It's not too late to make them process the gas at sea, as is done at Kinsale. Community opposition to the inland refinery is as strong as ever.

"They haven't been given permission by the EPA to operate the refinery, yet they seem determined to steamroll ahead with the project despite massive local opposition."

Kerins also pointed out in a press release from the group, ""Shell is trying to set a precedent by bringing high-pressure, untreated gas ashore close to houses and schools. If this is allowed in Mayo, Shell and its fellow oil and gas multinationals will use that precedent to impose similar monstrosities on communities up and down Ireland's west coast - and overseas."

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is due to announce later this month whether it will grant Shell a licence to operate a refinery at the Bellanaboy site.

"The fact that so much work has been done at the refinery site already, despite the fact that the EPA has yet to announce its decision, shows that Shell and their friends in government decided a long time ago that this wholly inappropriate inland refinery would go ahead no matter how the local community felt about it," Kerins said.

In recent months a number of blockades have halted work at the refinery site for up to a day at a time. These have included "lock-ons", at which campaigners have locked themselves together or to vehicles. On other occasions work has been stopped when large groups of Shell to Sea campaigners have entered and occupied the proposed refinery site.

Shell to Sea’ is an international non violent campaign, rooted in the Erris community, Co. Mayo, Northern Ireland. The campaign seeks to ensure that the proposed Corrib gas terminal and pipeline are constructed offshore. Five local people, internationally known as the Rossport Five, were jailed in Mountjoy Prison as a result of resisting Shell’s and Statoil’s plans to build their refinery and pipeline, despite the opposition of the people in this part of Mayo. Three fishermen were also arrested recently for their opposition to the multinationals’ plans while a ‘Solidarity Camp’ is continuously present on the beach near Pollathomais along the proposed route of the gas pipeline.

The following is from the Belfast Telegraph.

Arrests made at latest Shell to Sea protest in Co Mayo

Gardai in Co Mayo have arrested a number of people following a protest at the site of the gas refinery being built by Shell in Bellanaboy.

A large group of demonstrators gathered at the site this morning for the latest in a series of protests arranged by the Shell to Sea group.

They had intended to mount a sit-down blockade, but more than 50 people reportedly climbed over the gates of the refinery site in attempt to disrupt construction work.

Shell to Sea claims some protestors were injured in clashes with Gardai.

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