Articles on the struggle against the experimental gas pipeline that Shell are trying to impose on the people living on the shores of the Sruwaddacon Estuary in Erris, Co. Mayo and on the Great Oil & Gas Giveaway

Review: The Pipe


This film brings to the big screen the dramatic story of Shell’s blundering, sometimes violent, attempts to impose a high-pressure raw gas pipeline on a small North Mayo community. The documentary features footage taken over three years, from 2006 to 2008, by Risteard O’Domhnaill. It has all the ingredients, stunning landscapes, riveting action scenes and the real-life stories of local people who found themselves on the front line of the drama. The film is short on background to the whole issue and mentions very little on the actual dangers posed by the pipeline and refinery, as well as the giveaway terms the oil companies ‘extracted’ from Irish state.  However, in Willie Corduff, and particularly in Pat O’Donnell, the filmmaker has struck cinema gold. Through the words and, especially, the actions of these figures we get a good picture of just what’s at stake here and what it takes to engage in effective resistance.

Rossport Solidarity Camp appeal for your aid - Shell pipeline given permission; let's get ready to stop it!


On Thursday 20th January An Bord Pleanala announced their decision to approve the Shell high pressure raw gas pipeline. The decision shows the farce of project splitting, which allows authorities to pass dangerous sections of projects without going through a rigorous planning process. This is the last chance to resist this flawed project. It's time to stand up against the Irish Government, state bodies and Shell forcing their will on communities and on the country as a whole, regardless of proper process, economic sense, people’s safety, environmental laws and human rights. Whilst the people of Ireland are being crippled by the cuts in public services and forced in to huge EU and IMF debt, the great gas giveaway is the elephant in the room that could be our solution. The unjust deal can be renegotiated as we have successfully seen in other countries. The people of Ireland should have a say in how we sustainably manage our natural resources. The struggle against Shell is a struggle for everyone in Ireland. You can be part of it.

An Board Pleanála gives Shell pipeline approval despite local resistance


It is no great surprise that An Board Pleanála has granted permission for the final phase of the experimental Shell pipeline in North Mayo. The remaining 5 kilometers of pipe will be laid up the centre of Sruwaddacon Estuary, through Broadhaven bay, a place of great natural beauty and also an area which has been listed as a Special Area of Conservation [1] and a Special Protected Area for Birds,[2] along with being an E.U. protected Natural Heritage Area.[3] These sort of protections are now obviously meaningless when it comes up against multinationals like Shell.

Garda wielding commando knife brings 19 hour Shell rig occuption to an end


A spokesperson for the Rossport Solidarity Camp described how an occupation of a Shell drilling platform was brought to an end when the last campaigner was removed when "a Garda climbed out to him with a commando knife and no harness or support gear to hold himself up. He slashed through the ropes, pulled at the person and elbowed him in the head."  This followed a a successful 12 hour occupation of a Shell's platform earlier this week (see photo).

Shell to Sea campaigners occupying Shell drill rig in Srwaddacon Bay


Just before 7am this morning, Shell to Sea campaigners swam out to one of Shell's drilling platforms in the Srwaddacon Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Erris. Two people climbed up one of the drills and have occupied it since as part of the ongoing resistance to the imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the community around Rossport.

Corrib enquiry day 1 as new gas field claimed off west coast


Yesterday saw the first day of the new An Bord Pleanala oral hearing into Shell’s attempts to impose an experimental gas pipeline on the people of Kilcommon in Co. Mayo. Shell stand to make billions out of the Corrib gas field with the Irish state seeing almost no revenue from these profits or the profits that are likely to arise from other oil & gas discoveries now being made. Claims for a field much bigger than Corrib off the west coast have been made in the last few days.

Shell hearing opens as ex-employee blows whistle on oil & gas giveaway


Shell to Sea protesters resist boreholesEarlier this week the government announced its intention to give away the last exploration blocks in the Irish sea to private corporations under its "open door" policy.  Today in Erris Shell starts the latest round of its long attempt to impose an experimental raw gas pipeline on the community, back from its defeat early in the new year when the long running community protests forced An Bord Pleanala to block the original ludicrous route for the pipeline that took it through the village of Rossport.  Meanwhile the community continue to resist Shell with borehole drilling being stopped for three hours on Monday as protesters evaded security at low tide.

Resistance continues as Shell to Sea campaigner freed after 118 days in prison


A still defiant Shell to Sea campaigner, Niall Harnett, has been released after spending 118 days in Castlerea prison. On his release Niall announced that "I am going straight back to the Rossport Solidarity Camp to be with my fellow activists and Shell to Sea friends in the local community. We seem to bring out the best in each other, unlike Shell and the Irish government, who bring out the worst in each other."  Niall's release today means that for the first time in many months no Shell to Sea campaigners are in prison, however resistance to Shell still continues in Erris.

Community stop Shell drilling in Sruwaddacon Estuary in Erris


On Tuesday morning forty people from around Sruwaddacon Estuary in Erris brought Shell’s survey work in the area to a complete standstill when they walked out onto the mudflats at low tide to assert their cockle-picking rights and disrupt Shell’s borehole drilling survey.  Shell has two barges drilling over 80 test holes in this Special Areas of Conservation, work that is opposed by the local community as part of their ongoing resistance to Shell's plan to run an experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline near their houses.

Gardai assault Shell to Sea protester - 'I have your life in my hands'


At 7pm last night Shell to Sea campaigners used kayaks to approach a Shell drilling platform in Broadhaven bay.  Five Gardai boats intercepted them and overturned the kayaks, dumping the campaigners in the water.  When one campaigner managed to swim underneath the platform he was hauled onto one of the Gardai boats where a Gardai proceeded to choke him for 90 seconds.

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