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Protestors blockade road as Shell oil rig leak vindicates Mayo locals' fears

Issued by Rossport Solidarity Camp - Date: 27th March, 2012

-- Shell talk in London disrupted yesterday – protesters applauded --

Two campaigners have blockaded the road outside Shell's compound in Aughoose, co. Mayo, using a concrete 'lock-on'. They arrived at 6.30am dropping the specially constructed device in the centre of the road to which they then attached themselves. Other people ensured that local drivers were informed of the obstruction. Their purpose was to prevent Shell's contractors from entering the compound at Aughoose which is being developed to put in a controversial high pressure gas pipeline.

 

The Gardai Public Order team, stationed at Belmullet arrived at 9pm. It took them until 12.30pm to remove the two campaigners and re-open the road. Shell were forced to cancel all heavy traffic to its sites at Aughoose and Glengad. Both campaigners were arrested.

 

Róisín Ní Fhaoláin, a spokesperson for the protesters said, “This action is to highlight the recent gas leak in the North Sea, which remains uncontained and has caused partial evacuation of rigs there, including those belonging to Shell. There, the companies had only their staff to worry about, but what about the people of Erris who have to live next to this project? It merely vindicates the long standing concerns of locals around Sruwaddacon Bay that Shell's plans are a risk to their safety and to the environment.”

 

Shell are planning to put a high pressure gas pipe under Sruwaddacon Bay, between the Aughoose and Glengad sites, in order to connect to the Corrib Gas field. Local campaigners have long demanded that the gas should be processed at sea. Sruwaddacon Bay is a designated Special Area of Conservation.

In the last few days Mayo county council have had to re-tar the road due to the damage caused by the large number of Shell vehicles moving along it. Locals are also complaining about the amount of noise coming from the compounds and the hogging of the road by slow moving convoys.

 

Róisín Ní Fhaoláin continued, “With Shell's haulage stopped for the day, the people of this area can enjoy the beautiful weather.”

 

On Monday, a two people took to the stage at the Planet Under Pressure 2012 event at the Excel Centre in London. When Martin Haigh, a Shell executive, took to the stage in front of the 2,800 strong audience, the protestors occupied the stage with banners and demanded that Shell stop their greenwash. As they left peacefully they were applauded by the audience for their stance. The actions of Shell in Ireland was listed as one of the reasons the protest was taken place.

 

For further information contact

Róisín Ní Fhaoláin or Con Coughlan: 085 1141170

www.rossportsolidaritycamp.org

 

Notes for editors:

[1] For more on the North Sea gas leak see

http://www.scotsman.com/news/exclusion-zone-set-up-around-north-sea-oil-rig-evacuated-over-gas-leak-1-2198016

 

[2] For an account of the disruption of Shell at the Planet Under Pressure conference see

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2012/03/494216.html

http://scidevnet.wordpress.com/2012/03/26/a-protest-against-shell/