"The government has relinquished control over the offshore areas of our industry. Norway was tough regarding oil companies from the start. You now have an almost embarrassingly large pension fund. The situation for Irish communities, however, is as in Ogoniland in Nigeria - oil is a curse,”
Photo: Some members of the Rossport Five in Doolin at the weekend. From left: Vincent McGrath, Willie Corduff, Micheál Ó Seighin and Philip McGrath.Thanks for the SupportThe Rossport Five received news of a two week stay of execution from the High Court while visiting Doolin over the weekend. The Five, who spent 94 days in prison last year for breaching an injunction taken out by Shell, were due to appear in the High Court on Monday to learn if they would have to serve additional time in prison.However, it was decided last Friday to defer the case to appear again before the High Court on Monday, February 27th. Should the Five men be ordered to return again to prison they believe it will set a new precedent in Irish law. “Everything about this case is unprecedented. In fact, our legal team has told us that if we are to receive further punishment it will set a new precedent in Irish law”, said Vincent McGrath of the Five. “They decided for some reason known only to themselves to defer the case for two weeks. They gave us no reason at all.”The Five were in Doolin to give a short talk and take part in a concert on Saturday night.“We had a great time in Doolin. There were almost 200 people there. I think we are almost twinned with Doolin now”, continued Mr McGrath. “It was great to have the head filled with music instead of with facts and figures about gas, for a change.”The Five have currently suspended their involvement with the mediation with Shell because of what they describe as a lack of clarity about the scope of the negotiations. Speaking in Doolin, Mr McGrath wished to express his thanks to all the people of Clare who supported the Five. “The support given to us by the people of Clare gave us great encouragement and strength while we were in prison”, he said.“I remember looking on the TV in the early days in prison and seeing a big Clare banner protesting for us outside. It gave us great heart.”Meanwhile, Clare Shell to Sea are to host a ‘Boycott Shell’ picket at the Shell service station on the Limerick Road in Ennis at 1.00pm this Saturday. The protest comes amid new fears that areas in the Burren and Spanish Point could be targeted as gas resources in the future. “I would be concerned that the lust for oil and gas in Clare would result in the reneging on commitments to proper consultation with local communities, under the Agenda 21 Principle of Local Government”, said Niall Harnett of Clare Shell to Sea.