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Press Release: Maura Harrington jailed for nine months for causing €160 damage to Shell net

Yesterday in Belmullet District Court, Maura Harrington was sentenced to nine months in prison by Judge Gerard Haughton in relation to cutting a net beside Shell's compound at Glengad. The damage to the net amounted to just 160 euro, and took place in an area that An Bord Pleanala have since stated does not have planning permission. This sentence was initially suspended, but was activated when Ms. Harrington refused to sign a bond binding her to the peace, thereby restricting her right to protest against Shell.

 

In refusing to sign the bond, Ms. Harrington made reference to Judge Denham's famous 'appaling vista' comment, which refers to the 'appaling vista' of seeing Judges accepting police evidence without question. She also stated: “Given the continuing imposition of the proposed Corrib Gas Project, the reality at Glengad is that justice and law are mutually exclusive.”

No evidence was provided of Shell's right to place the nets on the cliffs in Glengad, where they prevented sandmartins from nesting in an area designated a Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

This week 25 campaigners have appeared before the week of special sittings to deal specially with objectors to the Corrib Gas Project. Three other suspended sentences along with a number of fines have been handed out to some of the cases that were heard.
 
Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway said: “This sentence is far above and beyond the supposed crime of €160 damage to a net, which Shell did not have the right to put there. This sentence shows just how biased towards Shell the justice system in this area has become. Maura Harrington has long had a principled opposition to the destruction of the community and the giveaway of Ireland's natural resources, and for this she has been criminalised by the Gardai and the judiciary.”
 
ENDS

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Terence Conway