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Community Groups Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp reply to Invitation by Senior Garda Management to meet

On February 21st, Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp were invited by Supt Patrick Diskin of Belmullet Garda Station to meet with himself ‘and other senior Garda Management’ to discuss their policing concerns ‘if any’ in relation to the proposed Corrib Project.

Both groups have today, 7th March 2011, replied to Supt Diskin inviting himself and other senior Garda Management to a public meeting in Inver Community Centre on Friday, 11th March or some other date at Garda convenience.

Spokesperson Maura Harrington stated ‘We do not engage in any meetings held behind closed doors – it was such meetings that led to the past ten years of trouble with the proposed Corrib Project’.

Spokesperson Terence Conway added ‘Maura and I are spokespersons for Shell to Sea but we will not engage in private meetings on behalf of the community – the communities here have suffered at the hands of the state and Shell and all people in the community have the right to have their many concerns heard in public’.

Ends

Below is the letter delivered by hand to Belmullet Garda Station, Monday 07 March 2011
 
Shell to Sea, c/o Inver Community Centre, Inver, Bárnatrá, Ballina. Co. Mayo.

FAO: Supt. Patrick Diskin, Belmullet Garda Station, Belmullet, Co. Mayo.

Re your letter 21 February 2011 inviting Shell to Sea to a meeting with yourself and other senior Garda management, acknowledged 01 March 2011 by the recipients, the following is the response of Shell to Sea:
(i)    We put on record that we have numerous concerns regarding the policing of the proposed Corrib Gas Project/Development
(ii)    Some but by no means all of these concerns have been documented by human rights NGO Reports from Global Community Monitor, Table Observers, Frontline Defenders and Observers International.
(iii)     Terence Conway and Maura Harrington are spokespersons for Shell to Sea and do not ascribe a representative role to themselves.
We suggest that a public meeting takes place in Inver Community Centre on Friday 11 March 2011 at 7.30pm or some other date at your convenience holding the suggested 7.30pm timeslot.
  
Shell to Sea
 

For clarification or further information contact:

Maura Harrington       

Terence Conway            

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 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. 2) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety or environmental risks. 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 gas and oil 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 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.