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Shell continue to dig their own grave

Pipeline protesters' prison release plea fails15/08/2005 - 18:04:19 Online.ie The five jailed Mayo gasline protestors are now resigned to spending more than 50 days behind bars after a plea for help failed.The men known as the Rossport Five issued an open letter to Shell requesting that the High Court order against them be lifted but the company said the matter was in their own hands.The Shell to Sea group said the men had already spent 48 days in Cloverhill prison in Dublin and were likely to reach the landmark of 50 days by Wednesday.“It looks like the status quo prevails. Essentially Shell, despite what they’re saying, are adopting a very intransigent position. They’re maintaining the injunction in place and they have made it clear that they will not change any aspects of their project,” said spokesman Dr Mark Garavan.The five men were jailed for refusing to obey a High Court injunction taken out by Shell to prevent them from obstructing the construction of the pipeline.Mr Garavan said the men wanted Shell to lift the injunction, which would then allow them to consider purging their contempt of court.“At the moment, the men are being simply being boxed into a corner. Don’t forget, they are there not of their own volition, five of them were selected from the large number who were objecting to Shell’s work on the ground.”However, he said that the men were determined to continue their campaign to get the gas from Shell’s Corrib gas field refined offshore rather than transported along the pipeline beside their homes to the onshore refinery.“I was talking to one of the wives who visited them in prison today and she said the men are very determined and they’re not for turning on this at all.”Shell E&P Ireland has deferring all work on the laying of a 75km offshore pipeline to allow discussion on the future of the 900m euro project.In their open letter to the company, the five men said they had refused access to their lands because of the certainty that if the pipeline ruptured, their families and neighbours would die. “Would the people of Mayo or Dublin accept a potentially lethal pipeline through the main street in Castlebar or Stephens Green in Dublin? A pipeline which has a rupture kill zone of several hundred metres. We think not.”They paid tribute to local politicians, the trade unions and the ‘people of Ireland’ for their support.“By comparison we have been shocked by the abandonment in our time of crisis by the Fine Gael leader and local TD Enda Kenny who we now regard as irrelevant in this crisis as a leader.”They said they welcomed Shell’s decision to halt work on the project and appealed to the company to stand down the injunction against them so that they could leave prison to attend the talks.However, Shell said it done everything possible to create the appropriate climate for the talks to take place.“The continued imprisonment of the five men is a matter between them and the High Court whose order the men breached. Shell cannot interfere with that process. If the men wish to participate in further dialogue outside of prison the matter is entirely in their hands should they choose to purge their contempt,” it said in a statement.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:08am