"There is a rich irony in the events of last week. Locals involved in the Corrib Gas protest have received criminal convictions for blocking roads. But when Shell blocks a road it is slavishly faciltated by the local council and up to 150 gardaí - all paid for by the taxpayer."
TENSIONS about the controversial Corrib gas project took a new twist recently when security personnel came to blows in a Belmullet hotel in the early hours of the morning of Saturday, May 12 .
The two men at the centre of the row have been suspended, by their employer IRMS (Integrated Risk Management Services) pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
The Mayo News understands the brawl occurred after the security personnel had spent the night drinking at a local pub and returned to the hotel, where they continued to drink in a bedroom.
The men had earlier attended a fundraiser, organised by IRMS and supported by local businesses, for a colleague who is in his early 30s and is seriously ill. Reportedly, they raised €10,000 for the man.
The fracas, which occurred at the Western Strands Hotel, led to one man punching the other and the wrecking of a number of fixtures and fittings in the mid-town hotel.
When contacted yesterday, a member of the hotel’s staff declined to comment.
However, The Mayo News understands the hotel has settled the matter amicably with the company.
A Belmullet garda spokesman said yesterday they received no complaint about the matter and were unaware of it.
In a written response to questions by The Mayo News, an IRMS spokesman confirmed the two men were suspended pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
“There was a minor incident involving two off-duty staff members from the locality, resulting in minimal damage to a hotel bedroom. On learning of the incident, we immediately contacted hotel management to apologise and agreed to cover the cost of repairs to the room,” the statement said.
It continued: “We wish to thank hotel management for their courtesy, continued support of our business and concern for the individuals involved in this incident.”
Meanwhile, Mayo County Council has issued an eviction notice to the landowner of the field where the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located, near the Aughoose works site for the sub-sea tunnel.