An éirígí-organised protest was held in Arklow, county Wicklow on Saturday June 25, calling for the Irish people to “Send Shell to Hell” and “Nationalise the Corrib Gas”.
The anti-Shell protest was made up of activists from socialist republican party éirígí, the Wicklow branch of the Independent Workers Union [IWU] and republicans and socialists from throughout the county, who assembled at the Bridgewater Shopping Centre roundabout in Arklow at 2pm.
The “Shell to Hell” demonstration received great support from passing pedestrians and from cars, who beeped their horns in support, and also a cavalcade of cars and buses from county Sligo signalled their approval of the protest as they passed through Arklow on their way to the county grounds in Aughrim to watch the Wicklow v. Sligo clash.
Following the protest at the Bridgewater Shopping Centre, the activists marched out the Dublin Road to the Topaz filling station to hold a static picket on the perimeter of Topaz and again passers by signalled their support.
Speaking after the day of action against Shell, éirígí Cill Mhantáin activist Adrian O'Reilly said, “It’s clear there is massive support for reclaiming our natural resources and it is also crystal clear that the people of Wicklow stand in solidarity with the community of Erris in north county Mayo.
“We all need to unite together and convince the Fine Gael/Labour Government to halt the highly dangerous Shell Corrib gas pipeline that is being driven through Broadhaven Bay, it is being pushed through without full consultation with the local community of Erris and in contradiction of best international safety practice which dictates that oil and gas are best processed offshore.”
Adrian continued, “Our objective is straight forward – we want the multi-national corporation Shell out, and we want to see the estimated €540 billion worth of oil and gas nationalised to benefit the nation of Ireland. The present and past 26-County governments have been seen as lap dogs to Shell while they ram ahead with austerity measures that cut public services and introduce stealth taxes like domestic water charges and poll taxes on the home.”
Adrian finished by saying, “To right the wrongs of government cutbacks in health and education and to invest in a long term jobs strategy plan, we need investment. For this we need to look to our own resources, Ireland has billions of Euros worth of natural resources that were given away to multi-nationals, it’s high time we took them back.”
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