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Shell to Sea asks: Has Comhaltas sold its soul to Shell?

News Release - Issued by Shell to Sea - August 5th , 2014

-- Comhaltas put President in awkward position --

Shell to Sea have criticised Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for accepting Shell as a sponsor to the All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil, which is due to be held in Sligo from the 10th to 17th August. Shell to Sea also stated that Comhaltas have placed President Michael D Higgins in the awkward position of opening a event that has been sponsored by Shell. President Higgins has previously spoken out against the Corrib Gas project and Shell's conduct in Erris.[1,2]

Shell to Sea will hold a protest against Shell's sponsorship of the Fleadh on the 10th of August on Stephen Street, Sligo from 2 to 6 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

A section of this years Fleadh is entitled "Peace in the Fleadh", which states that
"Peace in the Fleadh is peace building at its best ! Using the unifying power of our shared culture to bridge cultural difference, promote understanding and address the legacies of conflict and partition." [3]

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated "That Comhaltas would prostitute itself by giving Shell the opportunity to portray itself as a patron of our culture & music is disgusting.”

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “It is disgraceful that Shell is sponsoring the Fleadh which is supposed to promote peace. Time and again peaceful protest has been met with violence by Shell and the State. Due to the actions of Shell there has been no peace in Kilcommon parish in North Mayo.

Among the statements made by President Higgins on the Corrib Gas Project was the following:
“The politicians involved contaminated the process. I will come back to this matter because a price is continuing to be paid in terms of community conflict and distress. Agencies of the State got involved on the side of the developer, rather than on the side of the community. Given that alternative models were available in other countries, it was scandalous that we proceeded as we did. It reveals the mindset of certain people. I am reminded of the woman who was sent to jail in New York, who said that taxes are for small people. In this case, it seems that planning is not for big people.”[1]


A video of President Higgins speaking at a protest in Bellanaboy in 2006.can be seen here:



[1] Michael D Higgins on the Planning and Development (Amendment) Bill 2009

[2] Michael D Higgins speaking at Bellanaboy

[3] Fleadh Cheoil website: