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UN Special Rapporteur “concerned” about Shell to Sea protesters

Michelle Hennessy -

Margaret Sekaggya said there is “tangible frustration amongst local residents who are standing up for their rights”.

File photo of UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya.

UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Margaret Sekaggya, has said she is concerned about the challenges faced by those protesting the Corrib Gas project in Mayo.

Sekaggya was speaking in Dublin today at the end of her five day visit to Ireland.

The special rapporteur met with a delegation of ten people on Wednesday which included seven members of Shell to Sea.

She said she was concerned about “the situation and challenges faced by defenders and activists defending the right to the enjoyment of a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, particularly those peacefully protesting against the Corrib Gas project”.

“There is tangible frustration amongst local residents who are standing up for their rights and feel powerless, isolated and have lost trust in public institutions”, she said.

Posted Date: 
23 November 2012

Shell to Sea meet UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders

On Wednesday, Mrs Margaret Sekaggya, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders met with a delegation of ten people to discuss the issues they face with regard to the Corrib Gas Project [1]. The delegation comprised seven members of Shell to Sea, Kilcommon parish priest Fr. Michael Nallen and two members of the human rights monitoring organisation Table Observers, Sr. Majella McCarron and Donal Ó Mearáin.

Mrs Sekaggya is visiting Ireland in order to evaluate the situation of human rights defenders in the country and will present a report with her findings to the UN Human Rights Council in March next year.

The Shell to Sea Submission to Mrs Sekaggya is available here and Maura Harrington's personal statement is available here.

Democracy Devalued by Corrib Gas

Donal O'Kelly - Benbo Productions

Now for a serious point, no irony, no satire:- what's been allowed to happen in Erris for the last ten years regarding the Shell Corrib gas project has significantly devalued the standard of democracy in Ireland. It is a symptom of a wider malaise, for which we're paying by selling off our independence, our very status as a democratic state - lack of proper participatory democratic process. 

We've been lead to this point by a gang of unscrupulous dons, none of whom have been made to even acknowledge their crimes. 

Crime has become accepted as the norm in Erris, upheld by the agents of state we are brought up to believe protect and support democratic institutions. 

There is a painting by Jack B. Yeats in the Hugh Lane gallery called The Maggie Man. The Maggie Man invites fair-goers to pay to throw stones at a wooden roughcut figure called a maggie - gléas magaidh - to encourage it to fend off evil. Those we have allowed to become our leaders have made a maggie of our democracy. They have reduced us to abusing it, diminishing it piecemeal, paying to do so, with blind faith in its automatic powers, while thinking we are engaged in normal democratic activity. 

This is what drove me to write Ailliliú Fionnuala. - Donal O'Kelly 

Posted Date: 
6 November 2012

Why a drill and a play are at the very core of modern Irish democracy

Lifestyle - Irish Independent

When a giant tunnel-boring machine belonging to Shell got stuck in the bog in Mayo last July, Donal O'Kelly saw his chance.

O'Kelly is a veteran actor and writer, and something of a specialist in one-man shows. His most famous, Catalpa, now 15 years old, won awards and rave reviews internationally, and is still regularly restaged. His new show, the improbably-titled Ailliliú Fionnuala (details below), tells the story of that boring machine.

That may not sound like an obvious subject for a drama. But O'Kelly had been searching for a way to tell the story of the Shell saga at Rossport for some time.

Shell's pipeline and refinery project has been provoking protests since at least 2005 and O'Kelly became a regular visitor, getting to know the locals involved.

Posted Date: 
5 November 2012

What’s mined is theirs

Peter Geoghegan - London Review of Books

 Earlier this month, Providence Resources announced that an oil field at Barryroe, off the coast of Cork, is expected to yield 280 million barrels. The company’s CEO, Tony O’Reilly Jr, the son of the media mogul, told the Today programme that this was ‘very good news for Providence shareholders and the Irish economy’. The first part of his statement is undoubtedly true: Providence’s share price rose sharply on the back of the Barryroe news. That Ireland’s economy will benefit is much less likely.

According to the World Bank, Ireland offers ‘very favourable’ fiscal terms for oil and gas companies. At 25 per cent, Ireland’s government take is among the lowest in the world. Norway’s, by comparison, is 78 per cent; Yemen’s is 95 per cent. Ireland also boasts some of the most generous tax-write offs in the industry: companies can offset all costs before they declare profits, including any ‘incurred in the 25-year-period prior to commencement of field production’, from such activities as drilling unsuccessful wells in Irish waters.

Posted Date: 
26 October 2012
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