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The Sunday Times: Letters to the Editor: Shell ignoring pipeline fears

November 19, 2006 
WELL DONE to all peaceful Shell to Sea supporters who took part in Friday’s protest and remained calm in the face of gardai wielding batons, boots and fists (Kenny hits out at Shell supporters, News, last week). Get well soon to those injured in that disgraceful attack on peaceful citizens exercising their right of free speech and the right to travel along a public highway.

I attended the day of peaceful protest to encourage protection of the beautiful and healthy environment of that region. The vast majority of people present were locals. Some gardai behaved like an ill-disciplined bunch of thugs — no protester raised so much as a finger against them. I saw a pensioner being forced to the ground by gardai and stomped upon. When he eventually got back on his feet, he raised his blood-covered hand to the gardai video camera saying, “Get this on film — this is your handiwork.” I and a visiting monk were pushed and elbowed by gardai when we quietly tried to stand our ground. None of us were in the way of anyone. 
People keep saying that the Rossport protest is wrong because we need the Corrib gas resource for the benefit of the nation. This is invalid. Shell to Sea is not against bringing in the gas. It is the method of doing it they are against. Why must we have a 9km high-pressure pipeline passing through residential and environmentally sensitive areas when a refinery could be sited at sea, or at least on the coastline? Since the Piper Alpha disaster it is unacceptable to say that such a high-pressure pipeline will be perfectly safe for people living within yards of it.

Shell can easily afford to relocate the facility — it is up to our government to tell them to do so. Siting the refinery at sea would minimise the risk to people and the damage to the environment, and we still get the gas.

Bob Wilson
Flagmount, Co Clare,,2091-2460352.html and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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