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Rossport 5


**The Story so Far(Indymedia.ie)**
Tonight the rossport five remain in jail at the leisure of the courts for remaining in contempt of a court order. That we have all quiescently allowed the Shell corporation to run a rough course and agressively attack the protesters before permission has even been granted to lay the pipe is an absolute travesty.
There is of course a case to be made for exploting the corrib field. One of those is the potential for the exchequer to redistribute gas wealth among those in the west who are less well off.
An attack on corporations is usually an easy enough shot to take but this requires far more than criticism of Shell. Their action is pre-emptive of permission being given by Dempsy and if the last few days are anything to go by he seems well aware of the political damage that may await his course.
In getting people to support this move, the government must be pro-people rather than pro-shell, exploiting the gas for the sake of it is not an option. This must mean grating alternative land to those who are affected and ensuring that the system put in place by shell is safe and secure. The working conditions on the rig must be fully secure and labour laws respected.
The government has here a chance to rid itself of the pro-profit aura that surrounds it and the PDs.
However the odds are that the might of the shell bureaucracy and legal team and their agressive removal of opposition at this early stage will result in the railroading of local people into a project which puts their lives in danger.
Oil and gas recovery can be a lucrative enterprise but as we have learned from africa, the corporations tend to prefer unfair play and massive profit extraction while also engaging in environmentally unsafe practice (Gas flares in nigeria by shell e.g.).
The environmentally sensitive areas around mayo must be guaranteed and regulation must ensure the safety and profit of the public and the environment. Irish people have no reason to show such fealty nor loyalty to shell, we owe it to ourselves and our children to ensure that should we let them in they treat us and our country with respect.
If the corrib is to yield enormous profit in these times of high energy prices then we are entitled to our cut and the people of the west especially deserve to see the profits shared with government and reinvested in their region.
On top of all this is the fact that men still lie in jail in protest at the activity of shell. THe government cannot understandably interfere in the judicial process, what it can do is reign in the activity of a voracious and bullying Shell E&P Ireland. The Minister is right to remain away from the court proceedings but wrong to lay off of shell.
The corporate animal only responds to bullying and hard-ball. So Minister, play hardball and make sure we dont rue the day you took office.
Finally i think its fair to call for the immediate cessation of proceedings against the 5 by shell until a full decision is made on the pipeline. Protest is not a crime

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  1. Blogger Editor | 5:08 p.m. |  

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  2. Blogger Editor | 5:11 p.m. |  

    The Minister has some new questions to answer after today- a letter was delivered to his office seeking 21 points of information, including documentation, under Council Directive 2003/4/EC by Edward McGarr, Solicitor.

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