"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
'The Long Walk' starts 29th July 2006
Day 1: 29th July 2006
Despite the best efforts of the weather to drown the spirits of the Erris Shell To Sea group, a large crowd gathered at the Rossport compound to start the 'Long Walk to Dublin'
In lashing rain, the group stood for photographs, heard a few words of encouragement from Dr Jerry Cowley, local TD and then said the rosary.
Inspiration for ''The Long Walk'' came from various sources, including the 1963 march on Washington by Martin Luther King Jr, Mohandas K Gandhi's march to the sea to make salt, and the eviction of the Davitt family in Straide in the 1850's. This centenary year of Michael Davitt's death is also a fitting time to commemorate his own struggles, and show how people power and non-violent resistance are themes that remain as relevant today as they have always been.
67 people, the young and not so young! completed the whole of the first leg and were joined at various stages by others who wanted to show their support, including 3 dogs!
The walk started and ended in rain but the weather did brighten up along the route.
Bellinaboy which is the site of the proposed gas refinery site was the finish of the first leg. As the walkers rounded the last bend and the site of the ‘Trailer HQ’ came into view, we all knew that a welcome cup a of tea would greet us at the finish.
Other members of the Erris Shell to Sea group gathered at the end to encourage and support the walkers proving that this is a community based protest with majority support from local people.