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Wives call for national rally to help free Rossport Five

WHAT’S happening to us can happen to anyone: that was the message from the wives of the Rossport Five as they called for public backing for a national rally in support of the men. The five Co Mayo men were jailed 11 weeks ago after they refused to abide by a High Court injunction to stop obstructing the construction of a controversial pipeline by Shell on their lands. Yesterday, family members joined Independent TD Jerry Cowley and campaign group Shell to Sea on the steps of Shell’s Dublin headquarters to launch the rally, which aims to free the men and move a planned refinery offshore. Organisers said they had the support of the ATGWU union and local Shell to Sea groups around the country and hoped thousands of people would turn out for the protest in Dublin on October 1. Demonstrators will gather at the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square at 2.30pm before marching on the Dáil.

Mary Corduff, the wife of Willie Corduff, said: “Democracy has failed us, and failed each and every person in Ireland.” The women, who were on their way to visit their husbands in Cloverhill prison, said the last 11 weeks had been very hard on them but the men were still strong and determined. Mayo TD Jerry Cowley said he would be travelling to Norway next week to meet with the new Norwegian government and representatives of Statoil, who have a share in the Corrib gas field project. Environment Minister Noel Dempsey has agreed to meet the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Marine and Natural Resources to discuss the situation on September 27. Green Party TD Eamon Ryan, welcomed the news. But “serious questions must be answered regarding the Government’s handling of this increasingly controversial issue”.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:08am