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Shell's Security Guards Lose Control, Shell to Sea Campaigners Assaulted

By: 
Jen Debender - Indymedia

Early this morning the 22 October, four Shell to Sea campaigners entered the field in Glengad where Shell is working (the same field where work was stopped by a digger-occupier yesterday- http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94519). Two people managed to get on top of the same digger, but IRMS (Shell's private security contractors) got violent and dragged them down, injuring them both in the process.

Just after 8am this morning, four people entered the land where shell is working in Glengad next to the Glenamoy Bog Complex, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). This followed an all night vigil kept by local residents parked outside the field blocking the entrance gate. The four campaigners who entered the field all got close to two machines, but two of them were immediately swarmed by IRMS and 'escorted' out the front gate of the field. The other two campaigners managed to get up on top of the of the digger, only 14 hours after the campaigner from yesterday had gotten down from the digger.

The 20-25 IRMS guards on the site were obviously embarrassed to be caught with their pants down two days in a row, and seemed determined not to let another day's work be halted by Shell to Sea. Their boss Jim Farrell was not there to calm them down or reign them in this time, and they lost it. In the early hours of the morning, without many witnesses or much daylight, IRMS behaviour was much more aggressive then the previous day.

One person had made it safely onto the digger arm, but was followed up by notorious IRMS villain William Moynihan. While other IRMS security guards held the campaigners' arms, Moynihan grabbed the person by the throat squeezing pressure points causing him to scream in agonising pain. The IRMS gang then pulled the campaigner off the digger and carried him off the site over a fence. Moynihan left a small scar and bruising on the person's neck. Grabbing necks and strangling seems a favorite type of violence for Willie Moynihan. He has used it repeatedly- on one occasion to a person on crutches (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7ZHynY0sKw&feature=play...epage)

Another person who had climbed up onto the cab of the digger was dragged down by an IRMS guard and had his knee bashed on the digger, causing him a serious amount of pain. After being assaulted at a dangerous height on top of the digger, both campaigners were carried out of the field in no gentle manner.

Both campaigners who were assaulted have since received medical attention, and complaints have been made to the Gardaí regarding the assaults. Serious concerns have been raised about IRMS conduct in relation to numerous protests in recent times, in particular with regard to the assault on Willie Corduff in May (http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92036?search_text=willi...rduff)

The driver who had blocked the entrance gate to the site had her car towed away later that morning when workers were trying to bring in fencing for the site.

Speaking about the incident, Maura Harrington said “The serious concerns of local people to the actions of security guards have not been sufficiently acted on, and these assaults are a direct result. IRMS are mercenaries acting with impunity, terrorising our community. Locals who oppose this project have every reason to fear for their safety with those thugs around.”

Related Link: http://shelltosea.com