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Sinn Féin demand ‘The Chief’ be freed from prison

 SINN Féin has called for the release of Shell to Sea’s Pat O’Donnell from prison, describing him as a “principled man” who has genuine concerns about the Corrib gas project, writes Marian Harrison.

Mayo councillors Gerry Murray, Rose Conway Walsh and Thérése Ruane and TD Martin Ferris visited the Rossport fisherman in Castlerea Prison last week.

The group said there was “no useful purpose” served by the detention of Mr O’Donnell and called for his immediate release.

They also renewed their call for the suspension of all oil and gas exploration licences which were issued under the terms and conditions introduced by the former energy minister Ray Burke in 1987.

“Look at the contrast between the potential for economic prosperity contained in the reserves that lie off our coast with the current cut backs in public spending.

“It’s ironic that those bankers and developers who are responsible for plundering billions from Irish taxpayers are celebrating in their mansions throughout the world while Pat O’Donnell is locked up in jail separated from his wife and children,” said Deputy Ferris.