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Shell to Sea Pirates begin Week of Action against Shell's Solitaire.

category mayo | environment | feature author Saturday August 16, 2008 22:24author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Sea / Rossport Solidarity Campauthor email rossportsolidaritycamp at gmail dot comauthor phone 085 1141170 Report this post to the editors

High Noon at Low Tide - Pirate Flotilla arrives at Glengad to plunder Shell's plans and commence Shell to Sea Week of Action.

featured image

Today (Saturday) at noon a flotilla of sea kayaks reclaimed Glengad beach, Pollathomas, Co Mayo; the landfall site for Shell’s offshore pipeline.

Members of the ‘Great Rebel Raft Regatta’ recently deployed at the E.ON coal fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent, England, have made their way from Climate Camp UK to Erris, in order to assist Shell to Sea campaigners in their opposition to this pipeline construction at Glengad.

The first wave of the Rebel Regatta arrived today following Marine & Public Information Notices which announced the arrival of the world’s largest pipe-laying vessel, the Solitaire, in Broadhaven Bay, any time from today onwards.

Captain Ahab of the Rebel Crew states, “It’s unacceptable what Shell are being allowed to get away with here in Mayo. We intend to plunder Shell’s compound at Glengad and board the Solitaire when she arrives in the bay. We take no prisoners. It’s the gang-plank for these boys. This environment needs protection from these marauders of Shell’s.”

Today's action marks the start of a Shell to Sea Week of Action targeting the Solitaire. Actions will take place all this week until the ship is forced, like in 2005, to ‘go out the same way she came in’.

Shell moved quickly onto the public beach, a Special Area of Conservation, just a few short weeks ago with diggers, fences, security personnel and Gardaí. Local residents were forcibly removed from the area and arrested for their opposition to this work. Given that no approval or permission exists for Shell’s newly proposed onshore pipeline route, which is currently under consideration by An Bord Pleanala, it beggars belief that the ‘authorities’ allow this premature pipeline construction work to go ahead at Glengad at this time. A perfect example of ‘project splitting’, sanctioned and encouraged by government and State authorities.

Shell to Sea intends to ensure that no pipeline construction takes place on or offshore at Glengad. Had the Solitaire arrived today as planned, we were ready for her. And we are ready for her whenever she decides to come, tomorrow, the next day or any day. We understand that weather has delayed the Solitaire but Shell are confident that she will arrive by midweek at the latest.

In the meantime there are some unresolved issues at the Shell Compound and 'Security Zone' on the beach which we intend to resolve in the meantime. In other words, there is plenty for people to be doing here when they come.

People are already travelling to Erris to support this Week of Action against Shell. All are welcome at the Rossport Solidarity House, to visit and to stay, and to join us in our plans ensure that no raw gas ever flows to Bellanaboy. Today was just the start. Let's continue to organise together throughout the week and always.

Get your asses to Erris ... and remember ... we are never as strong as when we come together in the fight, on the streets, in the fields, on the beach or on the high seas!

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com



The thief cometh not but for to steal to kill and to destroy.
The thief cometh not but for to steal to kill and to destroy.

author by Niallpublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Preparing to Launch
Preparing to Launch


Heading for Glengad.
Heading for Glengad.

Something's Up.
Something's Up.

author by Niallpublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 17:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Shell ‘Security Zone’ on the Beach.
Shell ‘Security Zone’ on the Beach.

Pirates approaching
Pirates approaching


Shell servants - An Garda Siochana pump for Shell.
Shell servants - An Garda Siochana pump for Shell.


author by Chrissiepublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 17:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Trific news & pics - see youse in Mayo!

author by Niallpublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 17:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Come join the fun ... and the serious business of fighting off Shell. Together we can do it.


Captain Ahab greets the ‘safety boat’.
Captain Ahab greets the ‘safety boat’.


Local residents encouraged by the Pirates.
Local residents encouraged by the Pirates.

Shell to Sea. That's the compromise. Take it or leave it.
Shell to Sea. That's the compromise. Take it or leave it.

author by brownseal - gluaiseachtpublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

why did the whale cross the bay?
Because he wanted a Sea- Shell station.

Why did the topaz flounder ?
because he was all at sea.

ní neart go cur le chéile
ní neart go cur chun sáile

shell out!

author by Hangman - mindfreedompublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 19:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to see that the local people are still in good spirits. In particular, Pat O Donnell who has suffered more than most. (The strangler is never far away.)

author by Seanpublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 19:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Someone should look into the Solitaire's seaworthiness. The vessel is almost 40 years old and I understand there might be a few issues arising - could it be time she went to the scrapheap?

author by some of... - BOLD collectivepublication date Sat Aug 16, 2008 22:23author email theboldjourney at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

great work, keep it up, we will see yez soon

some other cogs of the climate camp machine will also arrive soon in rossport, part of what was the camp radio team will arrive on tuesday or wednesday to assist in whatever way possible. Were currently in west clare and will be up soon to ye.

first BOLD audio online from yesterdays talk in kinsale:
BOLD talk: Transition Town Kinsale, where the first spark was ignited...


Any plans of Irish climate camp in Rossport next year, think it would definately make sense.

author by Gorey Hawkins - Cause and Effectpublication date Sun Aug 17, 2008 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There has been ferocious cascades of rain water pouring down the side of Dooncarton mountain over the past week. Why is Envoirnment Minister Gormally allowing the madness of Shell/Statoil's rock breaking activity at the base of the incline up towards the mountain ?????? I?????? IN A LANDSLIDE ZONE ???? ABSOLUTE MADNESS !!!

author by Madam kpublication date Sun Aug 17, 2008 13:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Absolutely , this is a disaster waiting to happen .

author by lulupublication date Sun Aug 17, 2008 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

They are blinded by the money - 'Shell want it, sure they can do the assessment; such a huge multinational must be sorted for Health & Safety'....................until you inspect Shell's record on man-made disasters. Add an unstable terrain & some weather, very nasty.

author by Chrissiepublication date Sun Aug 17, 2008 16:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great to see the courage of those opposing this insane, immoral Corrib gas project! Support is welling up to save Erris from disaster.

author by kbrannopublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 00:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brillaint to see the fight is still in the people of Mayo. Pity that Dublin and the rest of the country seems to have forgotten as of late.

author by Shell to Sea supporterpublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 08:52author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We will never give up.

author by JMpublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 09:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Press Release - Pobal Chill Chomain - 14/08/2008

Pobal Chill Chomáin, the community group in North Mayo, is calling on Environment Minister John Gormley to take direct and immediate action to ensure the safety of residents in the Glengad/Dooncarton area.

This location, at the heart of Kilcommon Parish, was severely damaged by a series of unexpected landslides in 2003, resulting in the destruction of a number of properties and widespread devastation for the local community and environment.

The current heavy rainfall across the country is expected to continue, and the local community is deeply concerned about a recurrence of the disaster that struck five years ago. Because of this, Pobal Chill Chomáin expects the Minister to act now and apply the precautionary principle to prevent another, and possibly more damaging, event from occuring.

Following the previous landslide events, emergency plans were to be put in place and a number of recommendations were put forward to protect the residents and landscape. Among the recommendations was a planned restriction on non-essential traffic in the area, and enhanced monitoring and warning systems when severe weather was predicted. These should be implemented without delay.

Additionally, the heavy excavation works at the foot of Dooncarton Mountain at Glengad, currently underway as part of the planned Corrib gas pipeline, should cease immediately. This work poses an unnecessary risk to the environment and local road users, and has already caused harm to Broadhaven Bay and disruption to visitors and traffic in the area during the height of the summer holiday season.

The memories of the 2003 landslides are still fresh in the minds of everyone in the area, and the landscape will bear the obvious scars for generations to come. With responsible leadership from our elected representatives, this should not be allowed to happen again.


House demolished in 2003
House demolished in 2003

Heavy rains wash down in 2008
Heavy rains wash down in 2008

author by observer.publication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd like to say fair play to all of you folks,

Going off to stand up for your country and locality against
you seem to have mastered skills in ecological living, building camps with renewable energy, eco-friendly washing up etc, and natural water filtration, as well as the skills for banners, legal wrangles, and public relations.
and you seem to have all your water safety gear sorted.

You wouldn't get this in the scouts!

And to those whose life skills involved greed and begrudgery, tis time you took an example!

author by cablepublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Brilliant, great work! To be fair to Scouts/Guides, they got a lot of people started on the outdoor living, being resourceful, 99 thingss to do with string, etc.,

author by Ladyluckpublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's good to see that Indymedia keeps updating on these activities. However, there needs to be more press involvement around the rest of Ireland and in the UK if any of these incredibly brave and important actions are to make any difference. I hope any action taken this week will be broadcast and promoted so that more people will take notice and the brave Shell to Sea warriors' actions will be worth something.

author by m.m.mcarronpublication date Mon Aug 18, 2008 16:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Great you got there before the Solitaire!

author by Edward Horganpublication date Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done to all these civil society activists. Sorry I cannot be up there with you for the moment due to related priorities down at Shannon airport. Good to see some of my "boating" friends from the Bush visit to Shannon still flying the flag on behalf of justice and the environment in North Mayo.
With solidarity

author by J Kpublication date Tue Aug 19, 2008 16:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Judge Adrian Hardiman of the Supreme Court was on a radio show at the weekend and proffered an opinion re the reluctance of the British establishment to implement with full rigour ,some of the more blatant and sharp edges of the penal laws, against the majority religion in the 18th century. Hardiman stated that to do so, would "NOT HAVE PLAYED WELL ABROAD" (for the British) He is not the only one of that view, but it might be useful to recall how little things have changed in some ways, as the song says the 'fundamentals.. apply as time goes by ..'

Getting this into the MSM is crucial, that is the "abroad" for the powers that be, unfortunately thay have the vast bulk of the MSM in their pocket and they form a foul, cosy consensus, to ensure that as little as possible leaks out. The Dooncarton Mountain story is hyper surreal stuff, and must be got out into MSM.

Fantastic people you all are to be doing this and I agree with Niall, very much, that the legal and constitutional grounds are one of the weakest links in this chain, for the establishment and the oil companies

author by Rossport Solidarity Camp - Shell to Seapublication date Tue Aug 19, 2008 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This afternoon a team of Shell to Sea kayakers braved the waters of Donegal Bay to paddle over a kilometre out to sea to deliver a letter of protest to Captain Simon Van Der Plicht of the Solitaire, which the Captain received with good grace.

A crane lowered a bucket from the ship to receive the letter after the kayakers spoke to the Captain on the radio.

Representing the views of many from the communities affected by the Corrib gas project, the letter asks the Captain to reconsider his, and the ship's, participation in the development.

The letter clearly states that if the Captain chooses to continue the ship's involvement he will meet strong resistance. Many people have pledged to take to the water to stop this pipeline construction work.

Today's action is part of a Shell to Sea Week of Action targeting the Solitaire.

Actions will take place all this week until the ship is forced to abandon work.

Media spokespeople: Maura Harrington 087 9591474 and Niall Harnett 086 8444966.

The letter to Captain

19th August 2008

Dear Captain Van Der Plicht,

On behalf of the communities of Rossport, Glengad, Pollathomas, Aughoose, Glenamoy, Ballinaboy, Porturlin - and the people of Erris, supported by much of the wider national and international community, I am writing to respectfully ask you not to enter Broadhaven Bay and that you re-assess your involvement in the Corrib gas project. You are not welcome here - our whole community has been severely disrupted and there are very serious reservations about the safety considerations regarding the proposed pipeline especially in regard to the abysmal safety record of Shell here and at locations worldwide. We are also unhappy about the blatant disregard for our pristine environment - Broadhaven Bay and Sruwaddacon Bay are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) of international importance for marine life.

Our safety concerns include : -

· Risks of bringing a high pressure raw gas pipeline through areas of shifting sands and unstable peat bog in an area with a history of landslides.

· Risks of bringing this pipeline in close proximity to residential housing and public roads and footpaths.

· Risks of pipe integrity due to corrosion after standing open to the elements for over 6 years.

· The pollution of the local water table from toxic waste.

In light of our concerns we are obliged to stand firm against this project and do all in our power to prevent it in its present unacceptable form.

We do not seek confrontation with you and your crew and we feel sure that you would not wish to go ahead with pipe-laying when there are such serious safety issues unresolved. There is also the question of the legality of laying this seaward pipeline before there has been any agreement on the landward route.

Having stated these points, we wish to point out to you that, should you decide to go ahead with laying the pipeline before the issues are resolved, our experienced marine team will attempt to prevent you in protection of our livelihoods, families, communities and environment.

Should you wish to contact us please telephone 085-279-3017 or 085-114-1170 or email rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com

Yours respectfully,

Shell to Sea

Pics and a full report later

Related Link: http://www.shelltosea.com
author by Justin Morahanpublication date Tue Aug 19, 2008 18:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a great example of Anglo-Irish cooperation of the very best kind.

It's wonderful to behold the courage and iron so typical of this non-violent campaign in Erris and IT WILL SUCCEED.

Keep it up, stand fast as long as you can. Right is on your side.

Though we may not be able to be with you in person for many reasons, we are there in spirit.


author by shanepublication date Wed Aug 20, 2008 08:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Protesters paddle out to pipe liner

A group of Shell to Sea kayakers paddled over 1km out to sea to deliver a letter of protest to the captain of the world's largest pipe-laying ship, due to start installing underwater pipes shortly.

The protesters warned the ship's crew that if they proceeded to lay the pipes in Broadhaven Bay, off Co Mayo's coast, their "experienced marine team" would take measures.

Irish Independent

author by Paddy Power - $$publication date Wed Aug 20, 2008 23:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

My money is on the Solitaire

author by Tim Houriganpublication date Thu Aug 21, 2008 10:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good sense of humour lads, and we all know that the real pirates are those ships hired by Shell to
steal the gas which the scammed out of the Irish people in collusion with corrupt politicians.

Actions like these can wake certain people up out of the semi-sleep they are in.
The same sleep that allows these guys to wash their hands when the country starts running out of gas, while Shell export it out of the country to the highest bidder, and our lackey government tells us that 'nothing can be done', well the Shell to Sea guys aren't waiting for that, because something can be done, and they are prepared to do it.

By the various reports in oil & gas journals, the Corrib field would be able to provide roughly 10% of Ireland's gas needs (if Shell don't export it).
Funnily enough, this is roughly the amount that Gazprom expect to sell to us (they estimate between 10% - 15%.)
Between the Corrib field, and the field in the Porcupine Basin, which Tony O'Reilly's mob have their hands on, Ireland easily has enough gas to replace the Kinsale field.
This would mean we would not have to import any gas from Gazprom, and we would be free to tell the Kremlin where to stick it, if they tried energy blackmail on us.

Would our government do anything to prevent this? No
They're plan is, make good friends (and maybe good bribes) with Shell & other multinationals, and sell of the assets that would provide for our future.
And when it goes pear-shaped they would mouth a load of rubbish about how it's someone else's fault and nobody could have foreseen it. They don't have to guts to stand up to bigger countries when it comes to the crunch, and neither do they have the wisdom to avoid putting us at the mercy of bigger countries. So long as their own nest is feathered, they won't put too much priority on the rest of us.

By the way, for all the usual predictable naysayers who make phoney arguments like
"The government can't expect to set the same terms as before, the government can't afford to be drilling and exploring, so let's leave it all to private companies, and whatever they find is 100% theirs"

Just look at the set up that Tony O'Reilly's mob, Provident Resources have just announced.
Instead of paying for the drilling themselves, and risking spending millions on a few early holes that don't tap the gas, they have 'farmed' it out to Chrysaor, who will do all of that expensive stuff, in return for a 30% stake in the field.
There is no reason that the Irish government could not have done a similar deal.

Irish gas out, Russian gas in. And who pays?
Irish gas out, Russian gas in. And who pays?

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