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Merthyr to Mayo Solidarity Cycle

Across the planet, in the places where fossil fuels are sourced, people are resisting new energy developments.

Communities are standing together to defend their homes, health, land and water, and our shared planet… This is localised resistance with huge global significance….

From the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the woods of Mainshill, Scotland….

from the rivers and plains of the Niger Delta to the Amazon jungles of Peru….

and from the valleys of Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to the Northwest coast of Mayo, Ireland…

The Merthyr to Mayo cycle caravan will spend two weeks travelling between Merthyr Tydfil, Wales and Rossport, Ireland: two community struggles resisting fossil fuel extraction in their areas.

The time we spend in these communities will provide an opportunity to learn from one another, to share stories and to explore our areas of commonality; we will look at how we can work in solidarity with each other.

Belmullet court cases a 'complete waste of money'

By: 
Anton McNulty - Mayo News

AN ERRIS councillor has described last week's special sitting of Belmullet District [court] involving Shell to Sea protesters as a 'complete waste of resources'.

A special sitting of Belmullet District Court ran over four days where 27 people were summoned to appear before the court following protests in relation to the Corrib gas project. Only one person who appeared before the court was convicted while another person was given the probation act and others were acquitted or had their charges withdrawn.

Sinn Fein councillor Rose Conway Walsh told The MayoNews that 'scarce' public resources should be used better on tackling 'real crime' rather than bringing protesters to court on minor charges.

"This is a complete waste of resources and scarce resources I might add when you consider that we are struggling to keep beds open in Belmullet hospital. It is a complete waste of money to bring these people to court and to keep Pat O'Donnell in jail and separated from his family. Garda resources would be better deployed keeping communities safe and doing what needs to be done in tackling real crime," she said.

Court rules Garda Supt. M. Larkin responsible for Violation of the Rights of Shell to Sea activists.

By: 
Niall Harnett - Indymedia

Shell to Sea Protesters were Unlawfully Detained by An Garda Síochána within Shell Compound for 'operational reasons' which did not satisfy Judge.

On Thursday 25th March 2010 at Belmullet District Court, charges against 9 Shell to Sea protesters were withdrawn or dismissed by Judge Gerard Haughton, because the '9' had been unlawfully detained following their arrest and they were not brought to court 'as soon as practicable', amounting to a 'conscious and deliberate violation of their constitutional rights'.

In the 'test' case of Mr Eoin Lawless, potentially effecting all of the 9, the court ruled that the accused was/were held for an unreasonable amount of time before being charged, they were denied 'station bail' and were unreasonably delayed before being brought to court to allow them to apply for release on bail. Barrister Leo Mulrooney, acting for the 9, had put it to Garda Superintendent Michael Larkin that he had failed in his duty to vindicate the rights of the prisoners, and when asked to account to the court for his inaction, Judge Gerard Haughton expressed dissatisfaction with Supt. Larkin's explanation.

Solidarity with the Chief at Castlerea Prison – Protesting Pat O'Donnell's jailing by Shell

By: 
FSB! - Indymedia

50 days and counting into his Shell-imposed imprisonment, Shell to Sea shows support for their hero and friend

After a week when nearly all the court cases against Shell to Sea campaigners were defeated, withdrawn or thrown out, over a hundred opponents of the Great Oil & Gas Robbery from all around the country gathered outside the gates of Castlerea Prison this Saturday afternoon to protest the continuing imprisonment of their good friend and Shell to Sea colleague Pat O'Donnell.

Taking on Shell Oil in Ireland: The Strange Saga of Pat O’Donnell

By: 
Michael McCaughan - Towards Freedom

"Civil disobedience is not our problem....Our problem is civil obedience... Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world, in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war and cruelty. Our problem is that people are obedient while the jails are full of petty thieves, and all the while the grand thieves are running the country." - Howard Zinn, US historian,1924-2010

Mayo fisherman Pat O’Donnell, described by Judge Raymond Groarke as a thug and a bully, was jailed for seven months in Castlebar Court in February for his activism against Shell’s planned gas pipeline through his community. For most people observing from afar, with little more than tabloid headlines to feed on, the story ended there. Strange then that Pat’s home has been besieged by well wishers, the phone has been hopping and over 600 letters of support have been sent from around the world. Strange too that Pat’s daughter Aisling received gifts sent from well wishers in London for her recent 9th birthday, a reminder that in jailing Pat the state has also punished his wife and children. Strange also that the ‘thug and bully’ should be visited by two priests from his home area bringing messages of support from the community while Socialist MEP Joe Higgins called in to denounce the jailing as “an outrage.”

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