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News Release: Aughoose Farmer arrested for opposing Shell

News release - Issued by Shell to Sea - Thursday 25th July 2013


Early yesterday morning, Mayo farmer Gerry Bourke was arrested by Gardaí  at his home in Aughoose, Co. Mayo.  He was held for 6 hours at Belmullet Garda station before being charged with criminal damage and trespass at Shell's tunneling compound at Aughoose.

Mr Bourke was questioned by Garda Hugh Egan, who was previously recorded joking about raping female anti-Shell campaigners in 2011.  Garda Egan was briefly moved to Castlebar in the immediate aftermath of the recording being made public, however he remains actively involved in policing Corrib protests. [1]

Gerry Bourke has opposed the imposition of the Corrib Gas project in his village over the past decade and has previously spoken out regarding the occupation of the area by Shell and IRMS security. [2]

Mr Bourke is due to appear in Belmullet District Court on the 11th of September.  Also appearing in court that day are both media spokespeople for Shell to Sea, Maura Harrington and Terence Conway along with four other campaigners.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated "Gerry Bourke was part of the Shell to Sea delegation which met the UN Human Rights Defenders Special Rapporteur Mrs Sekaggya last year; Mrs Sekaggya's report delivered to the UN earlier this year was critical of the Shell/Corrib policing methods and made specific recommendations thereto. Alan Shatter and the party of 'law and order' chose to ignore these recommendations and so Shell and the police continue to operate here as they do in Nigeria."[3]

Among the recommendations made by Mrs Sekaggya was one to "Investigate all allegations and reports of intimidation, harassment and surveillance in the context of the Corrib Gas dispute in a prompt and impartial manner".  However this recommendation has been ignored to date.


[1] Gardaí in Corribgate scandal - Áine Ryan - Mayo News

[2] Gerry Bourke speaking on Midwest Radio

[3] UN  Special Rapporteur calls for full investigation of Corrib Human Rights issues

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.