éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has called for concerned citizens from across the country to act in support of the residents of west Mayo as Shell’s efforts to complete their on-shore gas refinery step up a gear.
The next stage of the Shell project is the laying of underwater pipes and the arrival of the purpose built Solitaire ship in the area is expected imminently.
The Twenty-Six County government has moved to facilitate the work by moving two of their naval vessels and extra numbers of Gardaí into the area.
Last night (Thursday), eight Shell to Sea activists were arrested by Gardaí after they took to the water in dinghies at Broadhaven Bay.
Brian said: “The residents of Rossport and surrounding areas are to be commended for their continued opposition to Shell’s destructive work.
“With the arrival of the Solitaire ship, what will be needed is another display of national solidarity with the people of west Mayo. In the last number of years, activists from across Ireland have displayed this solidarity time and time again – it is important that it is demonstrated once again in the most effective manner, in order to halt the progress of Shell’s work.”
Brian continued: “It is, by now, to be expected that the Twenty-Six County government will take the side of Shell in relation to these matters and do everything in its power facilitate them – including attempting to intimidate its own citizens.
“The placing of armed naval vessels in the area, however, must leave even some government politicians unnerved. This move is unprecedented in relation to civilian protests in the Twenty-Six Counties and is a worrying indication of the Dublin establishment’s determination to see the refinery complete.
“It is a pity that the government does not have the same determination when it comes to its responsibilities towards its own citizens. If it did, it might consider taking the massive amount of gas reserves currently at the mercy of Shell’s greed back and using the proceeds for the benefit of the people of Ireland.”
A protest is planned in the area for tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon on the day that Shell employees are expected to complete preparation for the laying of the pipeline, while Shell to Sea has organised a solidarity demonstration outside Dublin’s GPO at 1pm.
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