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Shell to Sea Campaign: Protests against government-backed scheme in Mayo, 7 Arrests so far at Bellanaboy

There have been a number of arrests at the protests at the site of the government-backed Shell refinery site at Ballinaboy, County Mayo.

Six protesters who entered the site on Saturday to inspect the water treatment works were arrested and detained at Belmullet garda Station for a number of hours, where they were photographed by the Gardaí, in contravention of their rights.

This morning< Monday 16 April, another campaigner was arrested when he protested at the Gardaí continually filming him with a video camera. His statement is below. All those detained have since been released. A number of protesters were assaulted by the Gardaí on Friday morning during attempts to stop the removal of surface peat from the site by lorry. Thousands of tons of peat are being transferred to a site 11KM away from the proposed refinery site and dumped in a process which has never been tried anywhere before. Protesters against this complained of being kicked, punched and thrown down the roadside ditches. Many of those assembled against the peat removal operation suffered bruising and cuts. One female protester suffered a sprained wrist. The Gardaí also carried out illegal searches and took a wrist watch from another protester. Protests against the government-backed installation of the huge refinery and pipeline scheme are expected to increase in intensity in the run up to the general election. Editors' note: 1. The EPA Oral hearings on the operating license for the refinery start today at the Broadhaven Bay Hotel. 2. Statement from Niall Harnett, arrested this morning at Bellanaboy Refinery site:

Mon 16th April 2007.
Since October 3rd 2007 until now, over a period of over six months, I have been viciously assaulted, like many others, on numerous occasions, by members of An Garda Siochana.

I have done nothing wrong, nor ever been accused of any offence of law at Bellanaboy. I have strived constantly to defend my fundamental human and personal rights as well as my constitutional rights to free assembly and protest against Shell and the Irish Government. I have been punched, kicked and beaten by Gardai. I’ve been forcibly searched on the street against my will and I have had personal property stolen and destroyed by Gardai. I have had my car stolen under ‘colour of law’ by them, relief for which am seeking through the painstaking and inefficient process of High Court Judicial Review of their behaviour, which I have initiated against them. Meanwhile my car rots in Belmullet Garda Station for the last 6 months.

I have also been under constant surveillance by Gardai who film me constantly and refuse to give legal reasons for this further abuse of my constitutional rights to personal privacy.

Today at Bellanaboy, while being filmed by Gardai, I again reminded them of those rights and asked them to account again for their behaviour with legislative provision. Again, they refused. I asked them to stop filming and again they refused. I informed them that I would be taking immediate action to protect my fundamental human and constitutional rights by physically directing their video camera away from myself.

As a result of this effort to defend myself in that way, I was arrested.
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3.    indymedia reports here: http://indymedia.ie/article/81965, http://indymedia.ie/article/81948, http://indymedia.ie/article/81975.

YouTube videos here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRtrh73zXnQ&NR=1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zx7YQNDcSl0&NR=1 , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCwpTBDranQ&NR=1.

For further information call John Monaghan at 086 3123439 or Niall Harnett at 086 8444966 in Mayo, or Tadhg McGrath on 0876181620 in Dublin

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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