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Press Notice: Frances Black to play free gig for jailed Mayo fisherman.

Press Notice: Seisiún Ceoil, 2pm, Saturday 13th March 2010 at Castlerea Prison
Issued by Shell to Sea

Frances Black will join a host of musicians and singers in support of imprisoned fisherman Pat O’Donnell. The event will take place from 2pm-6pm on Saturday 13th March outside Castlerea prison, as Mr O’Donnell enters his second month in prison.

Mr. O’Donnell opposes Shell’s destruction of his traditional fishing grounds and the giveaway of Ireland’s oil and gas resources, and has upheld his legal and traditional right to fish in Broadhaven Bay. While Shell attempted to lay the offshore Corrib Gas pipeline in the summers of 2008 and 2009, Mr O’Donnell was arrested and removed from the bay on 3 occasions, but on each occasion was subsequently released without charge.

Last June Mr O’Donnell said: “Shell has no legal recourse to prevent me fishing in the waters that my family have been fishing for generations.  The only way Shell can secure the access they require to complete their work at sea is if I’m safely out of the way in prison.” 

Since then he has been convicted of minor public order offenses and imprisoned until September – when Shell plan to finish work securing the pipeline in the Bay.

Meanwhile Shell has put out a tender for construction of a 5km tunnel under Sruth Fhada Chonn estuary for the onshore Corrib Gas pipeline, despite having no planning permission.  This route was ruled out earlier by RPS consultants on environmental grounds as the estuary is a Special Area of Conservation.





For verification or further comment, please contact:

Terence Conway

Maura Harrington


Note to Editors:

Mr. O’Donnell is a prominent member of the Shell to Sea campaign which
has emphasised the significant health and safety problems with Shell’s
proposed refinery and onshore experimental pipeline in Erris, Co.

The Shell to Sea campaign has also highlighted the giveaway of
Ireland’s large oil and gas resources.  The Department of
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources estimates that off the
West Coast of Ireland alone there are 10 billion barrels of oil
equivalent, with a worth of over €500 billion. Under current policy,
once an oil and gas company has found oil or gas, it owns it, with no
royalties being returned to the Irish State.  Ireland will also
receive no energy security from these resources as the state will have
to bid on the international market to buy these resources back.