*Corrib campaigner released from Castlerea prison*
*Liam Heffernan released after 10 days imprisonment and 5 days on hunger strike*
Today at Harristown court, Castlrea Co. Roscommon, Liam Walsh Heffernan (28) of Castlebar Co. Mayo, was released from Castlerea prison after 10 days in custody. For the last 5 days of his imprisonment he had been on hunger strike protesting against his detention and the extraordinary conditions of the bail terms that he had thus far refused.
Mr Heffernan was arrested on the 12th of June while protesting against the Shell Corrib gas project at Aughoose Co. Mayo. At Belmullet Garda station he was charged under sections 8 and 9 of the Public Order Act. He was offered bail, with the extraordinary condition that he stay away from Aughoose, site of the Shell tunnelling works for the Corrib gas project. Aughoose is also the location of the Rossport Solidarity Camp and is a central focus of protest against the project. Mr Heffernan refused the bail conditions, and has been held on remand until his release today.
On the 17th of June Mr Heffernan began a hunger strike against his extraordinary bail terms and his continued detention. This morning at a bail hearing in Harristown court, Mr Heffernan, representing himself, made an application to the Judge Browne to change the terms of the bond, in order to permit him to return to Aughoose. The Judge said that
he was unable to alter the bail terms in that court. Mr Heffernan then signed the bail bond, stating that he would challenge the bail terms and contest the public order charges. Mr Heffernan’s first appearance in relation to the charges is on the 10th of July, Belmullet district court.
Upon his release Mr Heffernan said: “The state has attempted to limit my freedom of speech and movement, by applying these extraordinary conditions on my bail. People in Mayo have suffered decades of injustice because of the imposition of the Corrib gas project. What we do with our natural resources should be open to national debate, and for any project to proceed, the consent of the people must be sought.”
For verification and comment contact:
Terrence Conway: 086 0866264
Maura Harrington: 087 9591474