"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
The folks in suits finally got a taste of the conflict they've been orchestrating for the past decade.
Representatives from Shell and their panel of expert witnesses were prevented from leaving the An Bord Pleanála oral hearing Thursday night by peaceful protesters.
"What do you mean they're on OUR bus!?"
Thursday was a long day for Shell's expert witnesses, bosses, and executives. An Bord Pleanála's oral hearing into the Corrib Gas pipeline has been ongoing in Belmullet for the past three weeks, and local residents have been questioning Shell experts on details surrounding the proposed onshore pipeline. Shell's expert panel were probed about health and safety concerns regarding the project long into the night on Thursday.
At 10pm, exhausted and with long journeys ahead of them Shell delegates exited the front doors of the hotel to discover that protesters had boarded their bus, holding placards and banners with messages reading “Energy shouldn't cost the earth”and “Shell: destroying the world, one community at a time.”
At one stage when four high up Shell people tried to leave in a car, two protesters met them at the road and blocked their car with a banner reading “Shell's lies cost lives.” The annoyed driver attempted to drive through the banner and in the process ran over one person's foot. No serious injury was sustained and the driver refused to make any apologies for his actions.
After delaying the Shell suits for over an hour, one member of the protest explained that “it was so satisfying to finally see these people at the top, who are never held accountable suddenly be confronted with their own responsibility for this project and the devastation it has caused to the community”