"The government has relinquished control over the offshore areas of our industry. Norway was tough regarding oil companies from the start. You now have an almost embarrassingly large pension fund. The situation for Irish communities, however, is as in Ogoniland in Nigeria - oil is a curse,”
Place: Dunne Stores, Ballina
Date: 30 July 2012 - From 9pm
Shell to Sea are calling for a protest to take place in Ballina tonight starting at 9pm to protest against the bringing in of a tunnelling machine designed to tunnel under Sruwaddacon estuary. A huge Gardai operation, including the armed Emergency Response Unit, is already taking place and it is expected that the town centre will be closed when it passes through on its way to the Bellanaboy refinery.
The equipment is the tunnel boring machine which will be used to drill under the Sruwaddacon estuary to link up the Corrib gas field with Bellinaboy refinery in Erris. It left Dublin Port last night on three 40 meter trucks that carried the some sections of the 500 ton tunnelling machine. With it was a huge convoy that included four riot vans, numerous other police vehicles and four minibuses of private security The huge police operation saw check points every five miles and on top of every motorway bridge as it passed.
Protestors gathered at the port and followed the slow moving convoy through the night until it stopped in Sligo. Struggling to take junctions and roundabouts, it caused massive disruption and tailbacks along the motorway.
It will resume its journey tonight to the Aughoos compound, when it will be joined by an armed response team and potentially other machine segments that have come in from Killybegs and Belfast. Campaigners from Shell to Sea will be assembling outside Dunnes Stores in Ballina tonight to draw attention to the massive state operation that is needed to bring it in.
Maura Harrington from the campaign said, “This TBM means the rape of the environment and the rape of our natural resources. That Shell is using armed protection from the state means we live in a banana republic. Where you have occupation you have resistance.”
Notes for Editors
Shell to Sea spokespeople can be contacted at
Maura Harrington –
Terence Conway –
Video footage. photos and accounts available at