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In Memory of Val Dazzle, who has passed away.

By: 
Shell to Sea

Val Jones from London and the UK Rising Tide organisation, better known as Val Dazzle to her friends and colleagues, died on Tuesday 5th January from Motor Neurone Disease after a long and difficult battle with the illness. Val lit a big spark in the UK and ignited a passion there for the Rossport struggle. She was 60 years young.

Funeral Arrangements.
Val's remains will be buried on Thursday 21st January at St. Pancras Cemetery, High Road, E. Finchley, London N2 9AG, following a celebration of her life at the St Pancras Cemetery Chapel, at 1.30pm.
No flowers please.. Donations, if desired, to Motor Neurone Disease Research.

 

Val Dazzle Tribute

In the Spring of 2005, when the community of Rossport had lost all faith in the institutions of the state, following High Court threats of jail for local residents who were refusing access to Shell onto their lands, a call out for support went out from the local community. This was a call out that was heard in places farther than we could have expected.

On the wet and windy morning of Saturday June 4th 2005, when people were busying themselves in a Rossport field, preparing a simple camp and kitchen to host the first pilgrimage of visitors to the area, Val showed up on a bus from Dublin, having travelled all the way from London to be part of the first Solidarity Gathering in Erris, Co Mayo.

Val was the first person to travel from England to the Rossport Solidarity Camp. Everybody loved her and her energy and enthusiasm inspired everyone who met her, local people and Irish activists alike.

“It seems like my whole life has been a preparation for this fight against Shell here in Mayo” is what she told us. We were amazed.

A veteran environmental campaigner, Val was particularly moved to join the defence of Erris on account of her family roots in Mayo and fond memories of the area.

She came armed with a bunch of pre-prepared anti-Shell fliers and posters and charmed everyone she met. Her effort in travelling from London seemed to set a mood at the camp for the duration of the Gathering – that this was a serious business with an international impact, and we were onto something here. That event broadened the campaign to a national and international level.

Val's participation was instrumental in inspiring and involving more eco-activists from over the water.   It cannot be overestimated how crucial aid from people in the UK has been to the Rossport struggle. It has always been especially uplifting for morale to see solidarity protests in, for example, London or Manchester or elsewhere in the UK, as has been the case over the years. This support has also been a great asset by adding different experiences and insights to the collective creation of resistance on the ground in Mayo. Logistical and financial support from that quarter has been invaluable also.

Val helped to initiate this solidarity with Rossport by organising the first London protests and meetings about the Shell to Sea campaign, and the Rossport Solidarity Camp bank balance stood at nil until Val organised a fundraising gig in an East End Social Centre.

Local people will also remember Val when she toured the area in the Spring of 2006 with her Samba band Rhythms of Resistance.

Thank You Val Dazzle. We Salute You.
Rest in Peace.