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Gardaí probe death threats to Shell workers in dispute

Irish Examiner.com: Gardaí probe death threats to Shell workers in dispute

“A SINISTER turn to the controversy surrounding the Shell Corrib gasfield pipeline row is being investigated by gardaí, it emerged yesterday.”

Monday 18 July 2005

By Donal Hickey

A SINISTER turn to the controversy surrounding the Shell Corrib gasfield pipeline row is being investigated by gardaí, it emerged yesterday.

Death threats to employees have forced a number of sub-contractors working on the €300 million project to lay off workers in Co Mayo.

The Shell company also revealed that some of their employees have been subjected to threats and intimidation. In a statement, Shell said it had advised such employees to deal directly with the Gardaí.

It is also understood two Scottish workers employed by the Statoil company were approached by a gang of men outside a put in Belmullet and told and told they would be shot in the back of the head.

Two other workers with Shell were also threatened.

The threats have been described as paramilitary style.

Sinn Féin is strongly supporting the campaign against the pipeline, but party deputy Martin Ferris has denied accusations that Sinn Féin has hijacked the campaign.

Five men from the area, known as the Rossport Five, are in jail for contempt because of their refusal in court not to obstruct the laying of a gas pipeline through their lands.

They have refused on a number of occasions to purge their contempt.

As tensions continue to rise in Co Mayo, up to 500 people took part in a protest in Ballina on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Shell statement said workers had advised the company of a “a number of instances of intimidatory behaviour towards them by third parties”.

The company said it employed over 350 workers in Mayo and Dublin and had consistently encouraged calm and reasonable dialogue regarding the project.

Marine Minister Noel Dempsey has agreed to meet the Rossport Five if they purge their contempt.

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