€1,600 billion. That is the figure for Irish Oil & Gas reserves already licensed revealed this morning in a detailed report from Shell to Sea using the energy corporations own reports and estimates. People in Ireland will see almost no benefits from this incredible wealth because the Irish state gives these reserves to the corporations at the cheapest terms in the world.
A huge secretive Garda security operation Sunday night swung into operation in Dublin Port as Shell's Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) left the port as part of a huge convoy of Garda vehicles. News of the operation had leaked at the last minute meaning that with only an hours notice a handful of Shell to Sea campaigners managed to get down to the port entrance despite the pouring rain. Most of us were pulled over and questioned by Garda at least once and the Garda helicopter stayed overhead as various Garda vehicles including a van load of riot cops with the door open drove past us repeatedly.
Over the June bank hoiliday I attended the Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering, part of the ongoing struggle against Shell's experimental gas pipeline and refined that is being imposed on the area. While there I revisited the Shell compound at Arghoose which has been massively developed since last year. The photoslide show here gives an idea of the camp, the landscape and the level of monitoring of everyone in the area being carried out by the Garda and Shell's security company IRMS.
In a new twist to the decade long struggle against Shell Rossport Solidarity Camp has revealed that Mayo County Council (MCC) has issued an eviction notice to the landowner of the field where the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located. Mayo farmer Gerry Burke has been threatened with fines of over €12,000 and two years in prison. Despite these theats the annual June Bank Holiday solidarity gathering will go ahead in a couple of weeks.
Shocking video has emerged of a Garda attack on a local resident, John Monagahan, at a roadblock the police were operating on behalf of Shell. The video shows the car being stopped at the roadblock and then you can hear the Garda smashing in the drivers window of his car with a baton before threatening to pepper spray him. John had just left his home some 500m away.
Station’s crime correspondent Paul Reynolds falsely reported that recording of Garda rape conversation was ‘tampered with’
Shell to Sea has revealed that RTÉ is being compelled to broadcast an apology ahead of Wednesday's Six-One and Nine O’Clock TV news programmes, as a result of RTÉ's biased coverage of Shell's attempt to build an experimental gas pipeline and refinery in Erris. In this specific case, RTÉ chose to ignore the facts as explained to them by Shell to Sea around technical issues concerning the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) investigation into the conversation Garda had about threatening to rape two women Shell to Sea campaigners they had arrested in April this year. RTÉ instead reported as fact the false suggestions of Justice Minister Alan Shatter, that part of the recording of the arrest had been deleted.
About 40 Shell to Sea campaigners blocked the Aughoose compound this morning (Nov 11) - all Shell employees were prevented from entering compound between 7.30 and 9.30. The road was kept open to local traffic by the campaign. There was no Garda presence. Just after 10 Shell to Sea activists started setting up an Occupy Shell Corrib Camp at the gates of the refinery in a show of solidarity with the global Occupy movements!
Thursday July 28 the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission released an interim report on the Garda rape-threat tape recordings that were revealed last April. GSOC is the official state body to investigate complaints against the police force of southern Ireland (Garda). The GSOC report contains a major error that suggests GSOC are the source of repeated attempts to spin the story in the media as somehow being the fault of the women the Garda were recorded discussing threatening to rape. The timing of the release of the report was also suspect, coming in the week Shell resumed construction and the day before a national day of action in Erris durig which four Shell to Sea campaigners were injured by Garda and/or private security violence. Such was the level of spin applied that some media made the mistake of leading with the news that the Garda had been cleared of something no-one had ever accused them of - directly threatening the two women with rape.
The June bank holiday weekend saw hundreds traveling to Erris for the Party Against the Pioe festival organised by the Rossport Solidarity Camp. The festival was held beside the Shell construction compound at Aghoose, where the tunnel for the last stage of their controversial experimental raw gas pipeline is to be started. This compound has been the site of many protests, including one earlier in the week when security punched a female Shell to Sea campaigner in the face.
The May bank holiday saw the annual Rossport Solidarity Camp gathering, this year across the road from the new Shell compound at Arghoos in Erris. As has become traditional the gathering combined a direct action with workshops and socializing. On the Sunday most of those present went to the launch of fisherman's Pat O'Donnell's new boat. There was a constant Garda presence around the camp throughout the weekend but despite the destruction of some 60m of Shell's bog road no arrests were made.