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'Rossport Five' supporters call for national rally

Supporters of the so-called Rossport Five, who were jailed 11 weeks ago over their protests against a controversial gas pipeline, are today calling for public support for a national rally demanding their release.The Shell to Sea campaign, which opposes the construction of the gas pipeline in Co Mayo by oil giant Shell, is launching the rally outside the company’s offices in Dublin.The national demonstration and march to Leinster House will take place on October 1, and families and supporters are urging trade unions, community groups and political parties to join the rally.Campaigners are also calling for the proposed gas refinery to be relocated offshore.The daughter of one of the men, Máire Ní Sheighin, said: “It is now over 78 days since the men went to prison.“This does not constitute justice or democracy. The consortium – including Shell and Statoil – which is exploiting the Corrib Gas Field should immediately apply to lift the injunction which has led to the imprisonment of the five men.“We are calling on everybody who believes in justice and democracy, and particularly the trade unions, community groups and political parties, to mobilise their members for October 1st, and to place the responsibility for this entire mess at the hands of the Government.“It is they who granted the consents to this consortium. It is time for them to start acting in the interests of ordinary people and not those of the big multinationals.”The five men were jailed after they refused to abide by a High Court order to stop obstructing the construction of the pipeline for the Corrib Gas Field on their lands.Work on the pipeline has been halted pending a safety review but Shell has rejected calls to waive the injunction.The men, who oppose the pipeline on safety grounds, have refused to purge their contempt, claiming it would hinder their right to protest in the future.

Posted Date: 
17 September 2005 - 2:15pm