Nationwide protests back Rossport 5
Nationwide protests back Rossport 5

Over 1,000 people staged a nationwide protest last night to support five north Mayo residents jailed over their opposition to the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline through their lands.

The protesters picketed outside Shell garages across the country as the row over the jailing of the men deepened.

Micheal O’Seighin, Vincent McGrath, his brother Philip, Willie Corduff and Brendan Philbin from Rossport in County Mayo are being held in Cloverhill prison in Dublin for refusing to obey an injunction taken out by the Shell Oil company.

“It is not good enough for the Government to wash their hands of the Corrib Gas debacle and allow Shell to ride roughshod over the people of Rossport,” said Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris.

The five men were put in Cloverhill prison last week for obstructing the construction of the pipeline across their land and have stated publicly that they are determined to continue their opposition to the pipeline.

Shell is seeking to pump gas from the Corrib gas field along the pipe to a refinery at Bellanaboy in Mayo.

The jailed men want Shell to build the gas refinery offshore, pointing out that their homes are being subjected to an unnecessary health and safety risk.

Protests took place in Dublin, Kerry, Cork, Waterford, Galway, Leitrim, Waterford, Laois, Kilkenny, Kildare and Westmeath. Another rally is being held in Belmullet later today.

Mr Ferris said over a thousand people had turned out to protest and hand out leaflets to highlight the men’s plight.

“In the interest of justice it is only right and proper that all people concerned should show their support for the men and their families,” he said.

“They all have families and it has taken an enormous toll on them.”

Mr Ferris said: “The five men should be released immediately. The Government should initiate an independent review of health and safety risks and institute a thorough public investigation into every aspect of Shell’s involvement in this project right back to the shoddy deal that gave them control over the Corrib Field in the first instance.”

The Kerry North TD added: “Mostly everyone I have spoken to is revolted that a multi-national like Shell is infringing on the rights of citizens.”

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2005 Irish Republican News