Cork Shell to Sea today leafletted members of the Naval Service and others working at Ireland's naval headquarters at Haulbowline in Cork Harbour as they came off duty from the naval base.
The campaign called on nval personnel to withold their support for Royal Dutch Shell's attempt to force a high pressure gas pipeline and on-shore refinery at Erris, in North Mayo.
As the government once again announced increased and expensive security for the oil and gas multinational to physically subdue local opposition to the pipeline and refinery Cork Shell to Sea circulated an open letter to the members of the naval service and to the general public in Cobh:-
"We are contacting you on behalf of the people of Erris and their comrades from around the world currently resisting the activities of Royal Dutch Shell, with specific reference to the "security" firm IRMS, whose role in Erris is that of a mercenary army hired by Shell, and the impending re-arrival of pipelaying ship, the Solitaire, who the navy tried to protect last year. We made this request last year. We are repeating it again.
We want you to withold your support from this project fortwith and join with the people of Ireland in regaining control and ownership of our natural resources.
We offer these points for your consideration:-
1. The gas that Shell wishes to extract and process largely at Irish expense is destined for overseas markets and as things stand Ireland will recieve little benefit from it. There is substantial British involvement in this situation. While being a multinational with interests all oer the globe Shell has its international headquarters in London and has substantial connections to the UK establishment.
2. Other national institutions that have been used to force this project through, most notably An Garda Siochana have done themselves untold damage in the eyes of the people and indeed in this time of international communications, the world, to the point that their legitimacy as a force for law and order can be severely questioned.
3. In recent times endemic corruption has been revealed among our political and business classes. They have neither the interests of Ireland, nor the people at heart. Should you require specific illustration as to how this affects the navy, we refer to the highly toxic waste dump next to you on Haulbowline Island.
4. These events are taking place against a backdrop of great upheaval. This gas, if used wisely, could remedy some of these problems and help us to ride out the others. The activities of Shell in other countries clearly show that they do not have our interests at heart and it is impossible to see how assisting them can be justified.
We understand that to take these points seriously will necessitate deep, far reaching changes within the navy and society at large. We would like to see the initiation of a process to bring this gass under the collective ownership and control of the Irish people and to make any decisions as to its use in the interests of future life on this planet. This understanding has been shaped by events in Erris and the Niger Delta and the response of governments and corporations to same. To make those changes is to kiss goodbye to certainty. Not to make them is to invite disaster.
More information on www.shelltosea.com
We repeat our request. Withold your support from Shell. Please copy and circulate
Cork Shell to Sea