Press Release -
Issued by Mayo Shell to Sea
--Spokesperson Terence Conway appealing 6 month prison sentence--
Tomorrow, the 26th of April, four Shell to Sea campaigners will be
attending the circuit court in Ballina to have their appeals heard. One of
the four, Terence Conway, is a spokesperson for Shell to Sea and may be
facing a prison sentence of up to six months for blocking the road.
Mayo carpenter Terence Conway (57) was given two 3-month prison sentences
in Belmullet District Court on February 21st of this year. The convictions
relate to Mr Conway's ongoing involvement in the campaign against Shell's
Corrib gas pipeline. He has been on bail awaiting the appeal since then.
Terence Conway is a carpenter born in Inver, Co Mayo, one of the villages
directly affected by Shell's Corrib gas project. Mr Conway has been
involved in the Shell to Sea campaign since he returned home from working
in the United States in 2005. Since 2008 he has acted as a national
spokesperson for the campaign.
It was noted before the judge that Mr. Conway had never come to the
attention of the courts until Shell came to the area.
Commenting in his actions Mr. Conway said, "I took this action because of
the situation in Erris. What we have been subjected to by the actions of
Shell and the State is worthy of a dictatorship, the police are working as
an arm of the oil companies."
"We have been portrayed as thugs and criminals. What I did was extremely
peaceful. What the community and our supporters have done is peaceful
protest. We have been subjected to violent policing. Shell are the real
criminals here. While I face the prospect of time in Castlerea prison,
Shell and the Gardaí remain unprosecuted for their numerous breaches of
the law and are continuing their partnership in crime."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:
1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way
that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health,
safety and environmental risks.
2) 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.
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 recoverable oil and gas 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 2010 of $79, this works
out at $790 billion, or €580 billion. This does not take account of
further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s south & east coasts 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