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Shell protest supporter climbs London embassy

The Irish Times
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Lorna Siggins and Deaglán de Breadúin
The protest over the Corrib gas project extended to London yesterday when a man climbed on to the Irish Embassy building and unfurled a banner.
The man, who has been named as Gareth Hallam, was arrested and later released by police with a caution. Up to 15 supporters handed out leaflets to passersby during the incident, highlighting opposition to the controversial gas pipeline in north Mayo.
Mr Hallam, in his mid-twenties, is reported to have climbed on to the balcony of the Irish Ambassador's office in Grosvenor Place at about noon.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said he unfurled a banner in Irish and refused requests by embassy staff to leave. Police talked him down before arresting him on suspicion of causing criminal damage. He was released with a caution after two hours' questioning.
Jenny Rose, who was involved in the protest, told The Irish Times that the action was taken to mark the day before Royal Dutch Shell announced its profits, and was intended to express solidarity with the people of north Mayo.
The English protesters were not affiliated to any group. The Shell to Sea campaign and solidarity camp in Rossport were not aware of the incident until after it occurred, she said. The protesters were unaware that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern was in London yesterday, she said.
Neither Shell E&P Ireland nor Shell to Sea in Mayo had any comment to make on the incident. The Shell to Sea Dublin branch is due to hold a protest tomorrow at Shell's offices in Leeson Street, Dublin. This will coincide with protests "worldwide" over the "human cost of the company's success", according to the campaign.
The campaign maintains that the cost of constructing a terminal offshore to process gas from the Corrib field would cost the equivalent of six-and-a-half days' global profits by the Shell group. This estimate is based on Shell's €20 billion profits in 2005 and the figure of €360 million given by Shell E&P Ireland's managing director, Andy Pyle, for the cost of an offshore platform.
© 2007 The Irish Times

Posted Date: 
30 January 2007 - 4:40pm