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Irish Times: Mayo family claims Shell stress

26 June 2007

The family of a Co Mayo publican admitted to hospital at the weekend with a suspected stroke claims he has been under severe stress since Shell E&P Ireland placed a Portakabin near Pollathomas Pier earlier this month.

Paddy McGrath is being treated at Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar. He claims ownership of an access road to and land at the north Mayo harbour where the temporary structure was erected.

The Portakabin, which led to a confrontation between protesters and gardaI resulting in a number of injuries last week, had disappeared on Saturday morning.

A spokesperson for Shell said yesterday it had removed the Portakabin.

The spokesperson maintained, however, that the company had every right to place the hut near the pier as it had been confirmed by Mayo County Council that there was a public right of way attached to the access road and the land and pier.

Mr McGrath, however, claimed Shell had trespassed on his property. Mr McGrath threatened legal action to have the structure removed.

Members of his family have told the media that he has been upset by the latest developments, particularly following visits on separate occasions by up to six gardaI to his house.

GardaI denied there was any pressure or intimidation involved.

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