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Seven Shell to Sea campaigners arrested during Sruwaddacon protests

By: 
Anton McNulty - Mayo News

Seven Shell to Sea campaigners were arrested on Thursday morning last after they interfered with drilling work in Sruwaddacon Bay in north Mayo.
The arrests, which were all for public order offences, took place at 8.45am on Thursday, July 29. The arrested are accused of interfering with a drilling rig that is conducting survey boreholes in the estuary. The protesters are said to have delayed work for two hours by using a rope to block the progress of Shell’s drilling platforms as part of an ongoing Shell to Sea  ‘Beat the Boreholes’ campaign.
A spokesperson for gardaí told The Mayo News that the four males and three females were taken to Belmullet Garda Station where they were later released without charge. A file is being prepared for the DPP.
The Mayo News understands that none of the arrested protesters was from the Erris region. Two were known to gardaí from previous protests, while the remaining five are new to the area.
Meanwhile, a delegation of residents handed in their objections to the offices of An Bord Pleanála and Minister Eamon Ryan in Dublin regarding the proposed new pipeline route under Sruwaddacon Bay. The community submission was signed by 305 people from the area, and there were also individual objections.
Terence Conway, a spokesperson for Shell to Sea, said the revelation that the oil and gas service company Transocean, which built the Gulf of Mexico disaster rig Deepwater Horizon, also built the Corrib gas wellhead, has led to further safety concerns.
“The Gulf of Mexico disaster vindicates the position of the local community that this pipeline is unsafe and big oil companies will always cut corners and put profit ahead of people’s lives,” he said.