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Erris rally in support of jailed O'Donnell

By: 
Mayo Advertiser

 A motorised convoy took part in a rally on Sunday in support of jailed Shell to Sea protester Pat O'Donnell. The rally went from Mr O'Donnell's home place at Porturlin, travelled through much of Erris, and finished at Ballyglass Pier fishing port. Mr O'Donnell was sent to Castlerea prison recently for seven months for breaching the peace and obstructing gardaí.

Mary O'Donnell, Pat O'Donnell's wife, read out a message to the crowd from her husband saying that people should not be intimidated by his jailing, and he asked the community to be vigilant against Shell's “proposed damaging survey work this summer”.

The rally was also addressed at Ballyglass Pier by Eoin Ó Leidhin, who was in Castlerea for three days last week, as well as by Maura Harrington and Willie Corduff. The speeches sent a message of solidarity to Mr O'Donnell, and stressed that the campaign needs to remain strong and unified in his absence.

“This rally shows that the people of Erris are with Pat O'Donnell during his unjust imprisonment,” said Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway. “We will continue to fight the imposition of this project by Shell and the Government.

“Pat has been jailed because his opposition has been steadfast and powerful, and because Shell want to go about their destructive survey work easily this summer – the community will strongly oppose this because of Shell's long record of contempt for the environment and the people here.”