"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
A delegation of Shell to Sea supporters including independent observer Fr Michael Nallen were refused entry to a Dáil committee meeting on natural resources this week.
The group travelled to Dublin on the invitation of Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil Éamon Ó Cuív on Tuesday but were denied entry to the meeting upon arrival.
According to a spokesperson for the group, they were first told that the public gallery of the committee meeting room was full and they would be put into a separate room with a video link. They were then told that because they were a protest group they would not be allowed inside the gates of the Dáil.
A statement issued by Mayo Shell to Sea said Deputy Ó Cuív told the group he was “powerless” to do anything about their exclusion from the meeting.
Speaking on being stopped entering the Dáil, Fr Nallen said: “There was no logic in the decision to prevent us observing the committee meeting in its discussion on natural resources. All we came to do was observe the workings of the committee, and the people who were turned away were not participating in any protest. We, at the very least, deserve a proper explanation and an apology for the way we were treated. This is not credible democracy.”