road protests (current)   |   movement links

From: "Jo Makepeace" (
Subject: SchNEWS 549, Friday 30th June, 2006
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2006 03:58:56 +0100

Rosspart Solidarity Camp


Plans to force a lethal on-shore gas refinery onto Mayo residents in Ireland are still being successfully resisted by the community of Rossport and activists from the local solidarity camp (see SchNEWS 545). In the last few weeks, Rossport Solidarity Camp celebrated its 1st birthday and a full year of blocking Shell's attempts to start work at the refinery. But Shell are not beaten yet and have recently exploited Ireland's corrupt State bureaucracy to try and get their way. Environmental lobby group An Taisce discovered that naughty Shell didn't have planning permission for an access road, a local compound or a valve station, threatening what little work Shell had completed before the blockade got going.

But Shell were not to be thwarted by mere bureaucrats. The next day the planning authority quickly backtracked and issued a press release saying Shell did not need planning permission after all. They claimed the need for planning permission had been a typo and that they'd inadvertently written 'yes' instead of 'no!' on the application. The pen must have slipped through their greasy palms, recently oiled with lucrative business contracts, and they hastily apologised to Shell for any inconvenience caused.

This decision came as no surprise the local community. Shell has used a range of tactics to get their way, beginning with the recruitment of local man John Egan to act as Shell's press secretary. Egan was a BBC journo in Nigeria when, at Shell's behest, ten activists were executed by the Nigerian State. Despite witnessing such a crime John's now happy to help oil barons devastate his own community. In March they hired local journo Christy Loftus and local ex-top-cop John Carey as a local 'consultant' - who like many of his colleagues has a questionable dodgy career behind him. Local sports hero Padhairc Hughes was brought in to help and soon Shell's mates in the Irish government released their so-called 'independent review,' which gave the go-ahead to the entire project. The minister for marine and natural resources reckoned that you'd still be safe if you stood three metres from the pipe and it exploded! Shell have also been trying to entice local people to support them by offering 'facilitation payments' - that are, of course, nothing short of a bribe.

However, none of this has weakened the resolve of the local community or activists in the solidarity camp. Whilst Shell has thrown millions into the fight against the local campaign, one simple fact remains the same - the project has been halted. As always the Solidarity camp encourages people to come to Rossport and help with pickets and camp activities, whether for a day a week or more, all are welcome. (no longer online?)

road protests (current)   |   movement links