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Shell to Sea campaigner Niall Harnett sentenced to 5 months

Press alert

Tuesday, 23rd March 2010

Issued by Shell to Sea


Update from Shell to Sea Special Court Sittings


Niall Harnett stated in court: “Inspector Doherty, Sgt. Butler and Garda Egan, I am not prepared to apologise for standing up to them, because they are bullies.”


Today at Belmullet District Court, Niall Harnett was sentenced to five months in prison in relation to an alleged assault of three Gardai at the Belmullet courthouse in March of last year.  He also had his driving licence revoked for two years for a road traffic offence in April 2009. Mr Harnett will be appealing all of these convictions. 


In yesterday’s court, Maura Harrington was aquitted of two charges of blocking a road, while Paul Lynch also had no conviction recorded against him in relation to a similar set of charges.  All three are Shell to Sea campaigners fighting the imposition of the disastrous Corrib gas project on the community of Kilcommon in North Mayo(1).


Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway said: “This sentence is further evidence of the selective application of the law in relation to Shell’s project in Erris.  While campaigners are receiving heavy jail sentences, the pipeline which Shell have illegally brought on land at Glengad, as ruled by An Bord Pleanàla, remains in place.”


He continued: “The government has indicated that they want this project to go through  as a priority, and that the concerns of the local community are a distant second to that.  We are being criminalised for standing up to this unsafe, environmentally damaging project, the human rights abuses of the Gardai and Shell security, and a project which also gives away the natural resources of Ireland for a pittance – but our opposition will remain strong.”





For verfication or further comment, please contact:

Terence Conway

Maura Harrington

Notes to editors:

[1] An Bord Pleanala's Corrib Gas ruling:

[2] 130 objections lodged against Shell licence application: