Skip to main content

Court report from Shell to Sea special sitting Belmullet Feb 20th - 24th

Rossport Solidarity Camp - Indymedia

Justice is blind - Judge Victor Blake ignores compelling video evidence to convict

Between the 20th and 24th of February 2012, 19 campaigners were tried at a 'special sitting' of Belmullet District Court, for alleged offences arising from protest against the Corrib gas project. Most of those tried were for Section 8 and 9 of the Public Order Act. Section 9 is obstructing 'the free passage of a person/vehicle’ in a public place and section 8 is failure to obey the directions of a Garda.

Overall the judge came down very heavily on the defendants. The hearings began only one week after public criticism from the minister for Justice Alan Shatter against what he called “protest tourism”. One campaigner received a prison sentence and three others received suspended sentences. Fines for all cases totalled €8350.

Another Corrib special sitting
Another Corrib special sitting

Posted Date: 
7 March 2012

Submission to Oireachtas Committee reviewing oil and gas exploration licensing

William Hederman -

Last month (December 2011) I was invited to make a written submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture, which is reviewing Ireland’s licensing terms for oil and gas exploration. My submission is below. 


Joint Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture

Offshore Exploration: Discussion

Submission by journalist William Hederman

Supported by Dr Andy Storey, School of Politics & International Relations, University College Dublin

December 12th, 2011

I am a freelance journalist. I am also a campaigner in a voluntary capacity. In the past year, I have carried out extensive research into issues around Ireland’s management of its hydrocarbon resources. I was motivated to do this by the fact that debate on the topic has been so poorly informed. My research has resulted in several significant – and alarming – revelations. Chief among these is the existence of an industry report which shows that, because of the extraordinary tax write-offs available under Ireland’s licensing terms, the State ‘take’ from gas fields in Irish waters is likely to be closer to 5% than to the 25% – or 40% – that is widely perceived to be the case.

Posted Date: 
27 February 2012

Video: 'I'm gonna pepperspray you next' : Corrib Garda smashing car window

Rossport Solidarity Camp - Youtube

John Monaghan is a Rossport resident and is a spokesperson for Pobail Chill Chomain, a community campaign opposing Shell's inland refinery project in north Mayo (the Corrib Gas project).

On the 22nd of February 2012, he was travelling down the road, and was stopped by members of the Garda, working in the area to force through Shell's Corrib Gas project. They smash his car window in after less than 2 minutes. Here is the video:

Posted Date: 
23 February 2012

News release: Prison Sentence for 52 year old Shell to Sea spokesperson

News release - Issued by Shell to Sea - Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012


-- Local carpenter to be jailed for obstructing Shell's inland refinery project --

Mayo carpenter and Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway (52) was yesterday (Tuesday, February 21st, 2012) given two 3-month prison sentences in Belmullet District Court. The convictions relate to Mr Conway's ongoing involvement in the campaign against Shell's Corrib gas pipeline.

Corrib: Shatter’s ‘protest tourists’ are acting in Ireland’s interest

William Hederman -

As 19 campaigners go on trial in Mayo, William Hederman writes that the expensive policing of the Corrib gas project is facilitating a transfer of resources to private corporations. Those "outsiders" who protest in Mayo are doing Ireland a great service

Nineteen people are due before Belmullet District Court this week charged with 80 offences relating to civil disobedience and obstruction of Shell’s attempts to build an inland refinery and high-pressure pipeline in north Mayo. Civilians have been taking the law into their own hands: closing public roads and illegally detaining other civilians on those roads.

The two sentences in the above paragraph are connected, but not as closely as you might expect. The 19 accused are anti-Shell campaigners, but the civilians referred to in the second sentence are employees of IRMS, the private security company guarding Shell’s troubled project. Since the latest phase of the project began in the spring of 2011 – a 5km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Estuary – IRMS staff have been taking a very hands-on approach to guarding the tunnelling compound at Aughoose.

I have witnessed IRMS staff assaulting protesters, closing off sections of the public road and physically detaining protesters. All of this happens in full view of gardaí. It is illegal for private security guards to close roads and to physically manhandle people – they have no more right to do that than protesters do. To date, not one IRMS staff member has been charged in relation to this activity, despite the fact that local residents say they have made complaints about it at Belmullet Garda station, as well as to the Private Security Authority.

Posted Date: 
22 February 2012
Syndicate content