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Dear Pat


I hope you’re well, and still adjusting ok to Castlerea. Things are pretty good here, and it’s been great to see people really getting it together with the solidarity actions over the last couple of weeks.

We had a protest outside the Shell offices in Belmullet last Wednesday week, good crowd and good form, even though the weather was fairly brutal, a mixture of sleet, rain showers and sun, but it was the first outing for the new banners which look fairly cool. It’s pretty important to make Shell feel the pressure anyways, make it more difficult for the employees there to just say ‘I’m only doing my job’, that they’re responsible for this disaster of a project, and in the end, for you being in jail because you’ve the courage to stand up against it.

That was the day Eoin went into Castlerea, a brilliant little example of how standing in a drain leads to being prosecuted by the Gardai around here! ‘Community policing’ all the way!!! Sounds like he was grand enough in there, and that it was cool for ye to meet up, nice one. I hear you had Joe Higgins in too, fair play to him, met him before, he’s a good man, if only there were more like him.

Then we had the car convoy protest on Sunday, which was really good, over a hundred cars between comings and goings, and a brilliant day for it, really sunny. It was really great to see so many people all stretched back into the distance from the Rossport crossroads, and again when we were up in Glengad. We were going around with Terence, and we kept driving on ahead to get some good video, so that was good craic alright. And then we had the speeches over in Ballyglass, which were really good, particularly Mary, she spoke very well. There was a great feeling of togetherness that we’ll keep going no matter what, that there’s no way we’ll allow Shell to walk all over people.

Then yesterday we were down at the solidarity demo outside the gates of Castlerea, another brutal wet day, but loads of support from people passing by which really kept the spirits up! And then Sr. Majella had us in for tea and cake, which was really good. I heard the protest at the Dáil went well too, a decent crowd from Mayo went up. We’ve had loads of emails in for you too, I’ll put them in the post along with this letter.

Just started reading Ken Saro-Wiwa’s book ‘A Month and a Day’, which is about his first time spent in prison at Shell’s behest…sounds a bit familiar… I’ll let you know how it goes. I was thinking about a poem he wrote which I think is fairly fitting for your current situation and your determination to oppose Shell’s destruction. Anyways, here it is:

Keep Out of Prison
“Keep out of prison” he wrote
“Don’t get arrested anymore”
But while the land is ravaged
And our pure air poisoned
When streams choke with pollution
Silence would be treason
Punishable by a term in prison

Keep well Pat, we’re all thinking of you, and we’ll be on again soon.


Please write to Pat in prison.
His address is:
Pat O’Donnell,
Castlerea Prison,
Harristown, Castlerea,

Alternatively you can email and we will pass on your email to Pat