Rossport: Protest brutally suppressed. Again.

From The Socialist

More than 150 protesters from the Mayo area and around the country gathered at Shell’s gas refinery at Bellanaboy on Friday 12 October. They were met with a massive and brutal Garda presence, backed up by the Public Order Unit.

Some fencing that Shell has laid down in preparation for the building of the unsafe onshore pipeline was ripped up and given back to Shell, marked “return to sender”. However, unfortunately, the large presence of Gardai meant that there was an insufficient number of protestors to seriously impede Shell’s work for the day. They made a conscious policy of attempting to break people’s thumbs, pulling people’s hair and even throwing one protestor’s shoe in the river.

The Socialist spoke to Dominic Hewson, a member of UL Socialist Youth who was attending his first protest in Rossport about his experiences at the protest:

“I thought the protest was quite encouraging, especially the local participation, it was a lot more than I’d expected. I thought the excessive force used by the Gardai was far out of context with what was necessary. It didn’t seem that they were there to mediate or to enforce the law, instead they were there as a private Shell force.”

Meanwhile, with Eamon Ryan in position as Minister for Energy, the giveaway of gas and resources off the Irish coast continues. The Department of Energy’s own analysis suggests there could be $600 billion worth of crude oil or gas off the west coast. Yet despite this, Ryan is proposing to continue the giveaway to private companies like Shell and Statoil.

The next day of action at Bellanaboy is scheduled for Friday 9 November. Buses will be traveling from around the country. To book your place, contact Paul on 086 1688050.


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