Skip to main content

Press Release: Farmer threatened with fines and prison by Mayo County Council

Press Release - Issued by Rossport Solidarity Camp - 21st May, 2012

Mayo County Council (MCC) has issued an eviction notice to the landowner
of the field where the Rossport Solidarity Camp is located. Mayo farmer
Gerry Burke has been threatened with fines of over €12,000 and two years
in prison.

No warning letters were issued, and the deadline for removal of the
campsite given was 17th May, less then a week after the letter was
received. The Camp has only moved into this field in the last three weeks.

According to the letter, MCC may come at anytime now and physically
enforce the eviction notice. This comes the same week as the eviction of
Galway's Occupy camp in Eyre square, where over 50 Gardai showed up at
dawn and cleared the campsite. [1]

Rossport Solidarity Camp Spokesperson Con Coughlan comments, 'The council
has recently been accused of corruption by one of their own counselors.
But it doesn't take an insider to see the corruption. Mayo County Council
has recently received a payment of €8.5 million from Shell, so of course
they will bend over backwards for their paymasters."

Farmer Gerry Burke comments, "The council turns a blind eye when Shell
puts up fencing and huts in Glengad without planning permission, but is
willing to imprison people for a few tents in a field. The council is
targeting those of us who are legitimately protesting against the Corrib
Gas project- this isn't about planning law, it's about money."

Gerry Burke continues, "We haven't heard a peep from the council regarding
the mass community complaint that was made two months ago, yet a few tents
go up and within three weeks we have an eviction enforcement notice."

In March the local community submitted 104 letters of complaint to Mayo
County Council, with 112 signatures. The complaint reads: "When dealing
with MCC many people experience an attitude of arrogance towards and
dismissing of people who are directly affected and critical of the Corrib
Gas Project. Phone calls are not being returned and inquiries are not
properly addressed and dealt with. There seems to be a tendency towards
punishment by association." [2][3]

The Rossport Solidarity Camp is an environmental camp which leaves as
light an ecological footprint as possible, creating their own electricity
with wind turbines and solar panels, composting and using grey-water


For verification contact:
Con Coughlan 085.114.1170

[1] Occupy Galway camp removed

[2] Mass community complaint about Corrib Gas Project construction and
haulage works

[3] Locals complain to Council about disruption caused by Corrib construction