Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fall River's LNG fight is familiar, but different, in...

Broadhaven Bay, County Mayo

Saormheáin Éireann (IndiemediaIreland) reports on the way international Oil'n'Gas treats folk in other parts of the civilized world. Shell To Sea is a group trying to gain justice for the people and environment affected by a gas pipeline in Ireland. I'm posting this here, unedited. Click the links if, like me, you'd never heard of this. They get you up to speed in no time.

Shell to Sea campaigner begins Hunger Strike
This evening Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington has begun a Hunger Strike to coincide with the arrival of the Solitaire, pipe-laying vessel in Broadhaven Bay. In a letter that was handed into the Solitaire in Killybegs yesterday, after being previously sent to Allseas Ltd (owner of the Solitaire), Ms Harrington stated that she placed her life in the hands of the Master of the Solitaire, Mr Simon van der Plicht. In her letter, she stated that her hunger strike will end in one of two ways, either that the Solitaire leaves Irish territorial waters or her death. A constant vigil has started at the gates of the Shell compound at Glengad in support of Maura Harrington and her opposition to the Corrib Gas Project.Meanwhile also this evening, the Garda Water Unit boarded 3 fishing boats and arrested the 3 fishermen who were attempting to safeguard their fishing gear which was in Broadhaven Bay. Previously the Department of Agriculture has stated that this was a civil matter between both parties and should be resolved in the courts however with both a heavy Gardaí presence and both the LE Orla and Aoife in Broadhaven Bay, it seems obvious that the State wishes to push this project through by force alone.For more Information on the fishermens dispute see:

For verification phone: Maura Harrington - ********* or Terence Conway - **************Notes: Below are the two letters handed to the Solitaire yesterday.


Please be advised that, if and when your vessel, the Solitaire should approach Broadhaven Bay, Co. Mayo - a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and a Special Protection Area (SPA) for birds - it is my intention to begin a Hunger Strike to the death. I am aged 54 years 11 months and weigh 6 stone 9lbs. Given my age, weight, medical history (calcified TB since 1980) my death will take place relatively quickly but not painlessly. The toll extracted by eight years of activism to the Shell dictated, State facilitated Corrib Project is a not insignificant factor in hastening my death.
I place my Life or Death in the hands of the master of the Solitaire, Mr Simon van der Plicht. Be under no illusion that this is an idle threat. I will begin my Hunger Strike, as stated if and when The Solitaire approaches Broadhaven Bay - it will end in one of two ways.

1. On written confirmation by Mr van der Plicht that the Solitaire is outside Irish territorial waters, such confirmation to be faxed to Irish Times Marine Correspondent, Ms Lorna Siggins at fax no. +353 91 582184

2. My Death.

Maura Harrington,Shell to Sea,Sunday 10th August 2008


Doohoma,Ballina,Co. Mayo,Ireland

FAO: The Master of the Solitaire, Simon van der Plicht
My name is Maura Harrington. I am Principal of Inver Primary School, situated beside Broadhaven Bay. I am a native of Erris and have spent all my life here.My sense of personal outrage is driven by the primacy of Place - people come and go in nano seconds; Place endures.
As I write, my husband, who is a professional Public Registered Auditor, is entering his second month of continuous medical attention as a result of injuries sustained while in police custody (of dubious legality) in a matter related to your vessel's presence in Irish waters.
In early July I alerted your company's HQ legal division by phone, fax, email and registered post to the fact that your current contractor, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc) may have been somewhat economical with the truth when engaging the vessel of which you are master to carry out a pipe-lay operation as proposed/contracted.
I requested that my last communication per email to the legal department of Allseas would be brought to your attention. In the absence of any acknowledgement by the legal department of receipt of such I now attach a copy for your attention.
As stated therein, be under no illusion that I am anything other than deadly serious in my intent.

Maura Harrington,Shell to Sea,4th Sept, 2008

(In the movie of this, some fatcat oil execs (with a cigar, probably) would be grousing about what the jerk would call "the sordid headline-grabbing spoiled dolphin-kisser Luddite." And then word comes that she's dead, and he cries real tears "for the first time in his life" and then puts all of his company's investors' money, and his own millions of retirement/severance benefits, into the Maura Harrington Memorial Solar, Wind, and Tidal Energy Power complex. I prefer my rich fantasy world. I may never leave.)

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