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Press Release: Belmullet court today filled with 17 Shell to Sea campaigners

Defiant mood as defendants arrive early to blockade Shell offices

At 8am this morning 25 people blockaded Shell's office in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, 17 of whom are due in Belmullet district court this morning facing charges for protesting against Shell's Corrib Gas Project. Most of the cases are to do with blocking the road Shell uses for transporting equipment and making deliveries to their tunnelling compound under construction in Aughoose.


Shell to Sea Spokesperson and local resident Terence Conway, who is facing charges today for blocking the road, commented:


“Today we can see the selective prosecuting of those resisting Shell here in Mayo. Shell's private security are consistantly blocking the public road while constructing the compound, yet they aren't in court today facing charges.”


Over the past two months while Shell has begun contruction on the onshore pipeline, the public road has been shut down by Shell's private security (IRMS) for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes at a time. Shell has put fencing up in the middle of the road, treating the public road as a construction site. Cyclists, motorists and walkers have been repeatedly stopped, detained and delayed by private security without any lawful authority.


Terence Conway continued, “It is Shell's law here in County Mayo, as usual. The Gardaí are not keepers of the peace, they are cooperating with Shell to facilitate this project by any means necessary - IRMS are given free reign to block roads while we are hauled before the courts. Today's protest shows that we will not be bullied by this selective application of the law.”


This week has seen continuous trespassing and disruption of work on the compound.

[Shell to Sea Update]14 people's cases adjourned till 12th Oct. 3 people all of who had done lock-ons pleaded guilty, 1 of who got a conviction but no fine, while the 2 others were technically dismissed with no conviction






Maura Harrington                        087 9591474        

Terence Conway                         086 0866264           



The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:


1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done 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 is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of recoverable oil and gas in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent). Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2010 of $79, this works out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south & east coasts 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.

Posted Date: 

14 September 2011