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Dublin Shell to Sea to mark Pat O’Donnell’s 100th day in prison with protest at Shell HQ at 5pm today

Press release

Issued by Dublin Shell to Sea

Protest at Shell HQ on Friday 21st May at 5pm.

For immediate release

 

Dublin Shell to Sea to mark Pat O’Donnell’s 100th day in prison with protest at Shell HQ at 5pm today

 

Dublin Shell to Sea will hold a protest at Shell HQ on Lower Leeson Street at 5pm on Friday 21st May. The protest has been called in solidarity with imprisoned Erris fisherman and prominent Shell to Sea campaigner Pat O’Donnell (52) and coincides with his 100th day in prison. Last February Pat was sentenced to seven months in prison for alleged breach of the peace and allegedly obstructing a garda. His imprisonment followed a series of incidents in which Pat, who has been to the forefront in defending the right of his community to live in peace and safety against the routing of Shell’s experimental high pressure gas pipeline, faced regular harassment from both Gardaí and members of Shell’s private security firm I-RMS. The most serious incident was the sinking of Mr. O’Donnell’s boat  last June.

 

Calling on the people of Dublin to come out on Friday 21st in support of Pat O’Donnell, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson, Caoimhe Kerins said: “Pat is a highly respected and valued member of the Erris community. His only ‘crime’ has been to oppose the imposition of Shell’s highly dangerous experimental gas pipeline and to uphold the right of his community to live in peace and safety. For this he has lost his liberty. We ask all of those concerned with justice and who value the rights of people above the profits of multinational corporations to come out in support of Pat.”

 

“It is important that a clear and unequivocal message is sent to both the government and Shell that people like Pat represent all that is positive in our society. While Fianna Fáil’s banker friends such as Seán Fitzpatrick can swan around the world on sunshine holidays, those, like Pat O’Donnell, who stand up against corporate greed and corruption languish in prison cells. It is a complete travesty of justice that corporate greed is rewarded, while defending one’s community in the face of corporate greed is considered a crime. Pat deserves justice and should be released from prison immediately.’

 

Commenting on the wider implications of this project, Caoimhe said, ‘The imposition of Shell’s project on the people of Erris have much wider implications, which stretch beyond Co. Mayo. The Shell to Sea campaign has consistently highlighted the fact that the people of Ireland will not benefit from the extraction of gas from the Corrib field or other potential oil and gas finds off the Irish coast, estimated to be worth over €420 billion”

 

“While the government is currently implementing a series of cuts across the public sector, which are having a devastating effect on our health, education, welfare and community services, oil and gas reserves, that rightly belong to the people of Ireland and could be used to fund hospitals and schools, are being exploited simply to create profits for companies like Shell.”

 

ENDS

 

 

FOR VERIFICATION, COMMENT OR MORE INFO, CONTACT:

* Caoimhe Kerins 085 8328130

 

 

NOTES OF EDITORS

Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims. 1) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted. 2) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health and safety risks. 3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery. 

*This figure is based on the estimate, issued by the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources (DCENR) in 2006, that the amount of gas and oil in the Rockall and Porcupine basins, off Ireland’s west coast, is 10 BBOE (billion barrels of oil equivalent). Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for 2009 of $60, this works out at $600 billion, or €420 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south coast or inland. The total volume of oil and gas which rightfully belongs to Ireland could be significantly higher. Also, as the global price of oil rises in the coming years, the value of these Irish natural resources will rise further.