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Shell to Sea's Long Walk from Rossport to Dublin begins

Despite the moist weather over sixty walkers turned out for the first leg of Shell to Sea's awareness raising Long Walk from Rossport to Dublin.
damp walkers pose outside Shell's compound in Rossport this morning
Over sixty Shell to Sea campaigners, Erris residents and members of Rossport Solidarity Camp braved the damp conditions of a Mayo summer this morning to participate in the first leg of the Long Walk from Rossport to Dublin City. The crowd of walkers gathered outside the gates of Shell’s semi-abandoned compound in Rossport amid soft Atlantic showers for the walks kick off at half ten. After a few words of encouragement from local TD Jerry Cowley and two decades of the rosary led by Mary Horan and Caitlín Sheighin the walkers were liberally sprinkled with holy water before taking the first few steps on the road east to Dublin. This morning’s opening leg of the Long Walk wound ten kilometres from Shell’s Rossport compound along the route of the never to be built pipeline, into Rossport village and on towards the refinery site at Bellanaboy. Much needed sandwiches and tea was dispensed to wet walkers on arrival at the trailer at Bellanaboy where an ongoing picket has stopped Shell’s work at the site for over a year. Tomorrow’s leg will bring walkers from Bellanaboy to Bellacorrick on the border of Erris. Around six core walkers from Erris Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp plan to walk the whole way to Dublin with many more intending to walk part of the way, for a few days or miles. Many others are helping with support work, carrying food and water, organising meetings or doing media work.
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the long road to Dublin stretches out
tae and sandwiches at the trailer Bellanaboy
customised visi-vest
and another customised visi-vest
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by JM Sat Jul 29, 2006 22:33 Rossport
I had this prepared earlier but EC got there first. Well done to the rapid response team!(29/07/06)Today saw the first completed stage of The Long Walk from Rossport to Dublin, just under 10 miles (15.6 km) between the Shell compound in Rossport and the proposed refinery site in Bellanaboy.At 1040 in the morning an official figure of 68.5 walkers (plus several cars) braved the wild and wet weather to begin the trek. After bilingual prayers and a few short words from Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley, the walk began.Hi-viz jackets, bottles of water and raincoats were the order of the day. The company made good time after two months of hard training, and arrived in Bellanaboy on schedule, where the usual supply of tea and sandwiches were enjoyed by all.Next stop tomorrow: Bangor Erris, and on to Bellacorick.
Damp walkers raring to go
Well underway
The first yellow jersey!
Tea and sandwiches

'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 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.
More pics and news: Read
Walk schedule: Saturday July 29th Rossport Bellanaboy Sunday July 30th Bellanaboy Bangor-Erris Bellacorick Monday July 31st Bellacorick Crossmolina Ballina Tuesday August 1st Ballina Foxford Straide Wednesday August 2nd Straide Ballyvarry Bohola Swinford Charlestown Friday August 4th Charlestown Carracastle Ballaghdereen Frenchpark Saturday August 5th Frenchpark Bellanagare Tulsk Strokestown Sunday August 6th Strokestown Termonbarry Longford Monday August 7th Longford Edgeworthstown Rathowen Ballinalack Bunbrosna Ballinafid Mullingar Wednesday August 9th Mullingar Kinnegad Clonard Thursday August 10th Clonard Moyvalley Enfield Kilcock Friday August 11th Kilcock Maynooth Leixlip Lucan Liffey Valley Saturday August 12th Liffey-Valley Kilmainham Dublin (City Centre)All stages due to begin at 0800 and finish at 1700 (5.00pm) approx. except; Rossport - Bellanaboy 1030 - 1330 (1.30 pm) Longford - Mullingar 0630 - 1900 (7.00pm) approx. Liffey Valley - City Centre 0800 - 1400 (2.00pm) approx.Keep an eye on for more details.
The Shell to Sea campaign have organised the walk from Erris to Dublin for the first two weeks in August. We need all the logistical, promotional and financial help we can get. Can anyone offer accomodation, meeting space and organising, press support, finance, food, friendship along the way? >>>Please get in touch with us: / More info

Posted Date: 
30 July 2006 - 7:37pm