"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
In response to Mr. Rabbittee's suggestion that the Rossport 5 should apologise to the courts:
''It is entirely unfair to put any burden of responsibility on the 5 men. The solution to this crisis lies squarely with Shell and their government partners. The injunction must be dropped so dialogue can begin.''
In response to Mr. Rabbittee's suggestion that a mediator should be appointed by the government:
''The government are not neutral in this matter but are an active partner of Shell. Because of this the Irish government have disqualified themselves to appoint any mediator. To act neutrally or against it's own citizens goes against the primary duty of protection expected of any sovereign government. A small village in Ireland should never have been forced into a confrontation with a huge multinational corporate alliance such as Shell, Marathon and Statoil. It is time for the Irish government to redeem themselves by taking whatever actions are necessary to end the imprisonment of it's citizens and fulfil it's obligation of protection''.
For Comment or verification call Dr. Mark Garavan Spokesman ''Shell to Sea''
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Issued : Tuesday 30 August, 2005
Statement by Pat Rabbitte TDLabour Leader & Spokesperson on Northern Ireland
The ongoing incarceration of five law-abiding citizens because of their convictions that the Shell operation at Rossport, County Mayo, may pose a risk to health and life is now bordering on becoming a national disgrace.
I am suggesting the following three-pronged approach to break the impasse1.#That Shell waives its interests under the injunction.2.#That the five men simultaneously apologise to the court.3.#That an agreed mediator, with access to whatever professional and technical advice is necessary, be appointed by Government to report on all of the issues of concern to the men.Specifically, as far as the third point above is concerned, the mediator ought to be required in addition to the health and safety issues to report on what measures are proposed by the oil companies to contribute to the development of this region of Mayo. Whatever the merits of the original terms negotiated between the oil companies and the Government, it seems unlikely that these terms could now be unilaterally altered by any Irish Government.However, since the oil companies concerned are the principal beneficiaries of the find off the Mayo coast, it is entirely reasonable that they be required to spell out what benefits will accrue to this underdeveloped region arising from this significant gas find in Irish waters.The Government that negotiated the deal that has given rise to the present controversy is remarkably silent on what economic benefit redounds to this economy. From my meeting with the Shell management, they argue that over the duration of the contract benefits will accrue but both the company and Government are remarkably unwilling to spell out that benefit.”