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Four Dublin Shell to Sea campaigners have chained themselves inside Department of Energy and Natural Resources

Four Dublin Shell to Sea campaigners have chained themselves to the stairwells inside Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Four Dublin Shell to Sea campaigners have chained themselves to the stairwells inside Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources as an action in solidarity with Pat O’Donnell. A number Shell to Sea activists are currently occupying the offices of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources at 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.

 

 

The four members of Shell to Sea are draped in chains and locked together in order to symbolise the ongoing imprisonment of Erris fisherman and prominent Mayo Shell to Sea campaigner Pat O’Donnell.

Last February, Mr. O’Donnell (52) was sentenced to serve seven months in prison on the spurious grounds of obstructing a Garda in the course of his duty.

Speaking from inside the building, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson, Caoimhe Kerins said: “Pat O’Donnell is a brave and honourable man who has simply stood up for the health and safety rights of his community and for the rights of the people of Ireland to benefit economically and socially from our vast oil and gas resources.”

ENDS

FOR VERIFICATION, COMMENT OR MORE INFO, CONTACT:

* Caoimhe Kerins 085 8328130 or on 086 736 2417

Notes to Editor

1. Pat O’Donnell is a 52 year-old Erris fisherman and prominent Shell to Sea campaigner in Mayo. In the months leading up to his imprisonment he endured a sustained campaign of harassment both from the Gardaí and Shell’s private security firm I-RMS. In the most serious incident last June, four masked men boarded Mr. O’Donnell’s fishing boat, held him and his crewman at gunpoint, and proceeded to sink the boat. Both men were lucky to escape with their lives.

2. 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 and safety 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 2009 of $60, this works out at $600 billion, or €420 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.