Connaught

Shell fined a meaningless 1000 euro after gas flares at Corrib plant

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When the Corrib refinery was being built & resisted campaigners warned that environmental legislation was set up to have no meaningful impact on multinationals.  Two days ago we saw a very clear demonstration of this in practise when Shell was fined EUR1,000 of an estimated EUR240 million in Corrib sales so far this year.  Such a fine has no deterrent impact at all, it might as well have been one cent.

Two Irelands: the case of Roscommon Hospital

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THERE ARE TWO IRELANDS – reality for people like you and me; fantasy for the rich and their political servants.

Frank Feighan lives in fantasy Ireland. He was elected TD for Roscommon/South Leitrim in 2011 on the basis of a pledge not to downgrade Roscommon Hospital. Enda Kenny even made a speech in Roscommon town promising to keep the hospital at its current capacity [1]. Once elected, Feighan and Fine Gael broke their promises in order to support the global financial system and to open up Ireland’s welfare services to retrenchment and privatisation. Roscommon County Hospital was downgraded in 2011, losing its 24-hour accident and emergency service. Local people reacted angrily to this betrayal, occupying the hospital for a number of days, organising local demonstrations in the town and a national demonstration outside the Dáil. Neighbours generally shunned Feighan in his constituency, painting slogans like ‘traitor’ on bales of hay on the roads leading to his home.
 

Two more Rossport community defenders under prosecution as refinery forced through

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Over two years after the last major mass direct action against Shell in Erris the state continues to pursue a vindictive prosecution against some of those arrested that day. In June 2013 at the culmination of a week of action around 70 people entered the Shell compound at Aughoose where the final section of the experimental high pressure raw gas pipeline was being connected.

The local community have been resisting the pipeline and refinery for a decade. During that resistance hundreds have been arrested or injured and several have spent periods in jail. Millions was spent every year deploying hundreds of Garda and at times the airforce and navy to make effective protest impossible. Despite this the protests meant that the project has finished years late and at 3 to 4 times the original projected cost.

Enda Kenny received an angry welcome in Roscommon from water charge campaigners

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On Friday 20 Nov Enda Kenny received an angry welcome in Roscommon which Fine Gaelers have been whining about in the media. The statement below explains how protesters " began to sing the anthem of the anti water charges protesters in Dublin in solidarity with them: 'You can stick your water meters up your arse / you can stick your 100 euro up your arse'. Some of us also repeatedly told him that we did not want our water supply privatised and that it was time for him to go as his mandate to govern has disappeared. We were surrounded by Gardai and asked to leave and did so without any fuss."


Garda aggression in Erris as Shell remove Tunnel Boring Machine

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Almost two years after Shell smuggled their Tunnel Boring Machine out of Dublin port in the middle of the night, and then spent 3 days meeting resistance across the country before getting stuck in the bog, they removed it from Erris Monday night.

Tuam babies in sceptic tank story is one of state church co-operation into our collective present

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The mass grave in Tuam isn't simply a story of a handful of evil nuns acting out of sight and discovered 80 years too late. It's the story of the long and protracted relationship between the Irish state and the Catholic church as illustrated by these two photos from the 1930s and 1950s.

The first is one of many scenes from the 1932 Eucharistic Congress, a few short years after the Tuam home went into operation. The congress saw the Irish state lay on an enormous pageant to cement its relationship with the church as part of the process of recasting its control over the population through the promotion of a regressive religious ideology that marginalised independent women, queers and anyone else who didn't toe the line.

Aughoose farmer arrested for opposing Shell in Mayo

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Early yesterday morning, Mayo farmer Gerry Bourke was arrested by Gardaí  at his home in Aughoose, Co. Mayo.  He was held for 6 hours at Belmullet Garda station before being charged with criminal damage and trespass at Shell's tunneling compound at Aughoose.

To be watched, inspected, spied upon - Shell's law in Erris

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Shell to Sea campaigner Naoise Ó Mongáin asking Garda to stop videotaping his grand daughter during a protest at Shell's refinery on Saturday.

 

Garda use violence & arrests to suppress Rossport protests

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Yesterday five people were arrested by the Garda as violence was used to break up protests against the continued imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the community by Shell. In the morning 30 Garda blocked the entrance of Rossport Solidarity Camp and then arrested 2 Shell to Sea campaigners who were trying to access the public road. During these arrests Garda behaviour was described as "very violent" by an eyewitness we talked to.

Vibrant protest outside Enda's office in Castlebar against cuts to SNAs

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Just under 100 people, both parents and children with special needs and their supporters, took part in a vibrant protest today against cuts to SNAs (Special Needs Assistants) in Castlebar, Co. Mayo outside Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency office. The protest was called despite a u-turn by Minister Ruairi Quinn on recent plans to withhold 500 additional teaching posts in schools which were required to cope with the growing number of children in the education system who need support.

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