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Irish Independent: Judge assesses the scene of ‘heated’ Corrib Gas protests

Published: May 31, 2007

A JUDGE yesterday visited the scene of the heated protests near the Corrib Gas terminal in Co Mayo.

Judge Mary Devins travelled to Bellanaboy to assess for herself the terrain along the roadway where, it is alleged, three local men assaulted and obstructed gardai last October.

Before Belmullet District Court are Patrick O’Donnell (49), his son Jonathan (21) and a 21-year-old neighbour, Enda Carey, all from Port Urlin, Ballina.

Patrick O’Donnell, a fisherman, is charged with assaulting and obstructing Sergeant Donal Glennon. Jonathan O’Donnell faces the same charges and a charge of assaulting Garda Barry Byrne, causing him harm.

Enda Carey is charged with assaulting and obstructing Sgt Glennon.

At Bellanaboy, Judge Devins, accompanied by a garda, viewed the entrance to the Shell terminal and also peered over a low barrier at the drain into which it is alleged Sgt Glennon was pushed on the morning of October 12 last.

In court later all three men denied they had formed a scrum or pushed the sergeant into the drain.

“There was no space to form a scrum”, said Patrick O’Donnell.

The court heard that between 150 and 300 protesters had gathered on the morning for the protest.

Patrick O Donnell added: “I went to take part in a protest to protect the health and safety of my family and to protect the fishing industry”.

Both Jonathan O’Donnell and Enda Carey similarly denied having any involvement in assaulting any member of the gardai.

Enda Carey said he and Jonathan O’Donnell had themselves been pushed into the drain, along with a garda. Judge Devins adjourned the hearing until June 13 and said that she would announce on that date when she would give her decision in the case.

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