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Shell to Sea Campaign Dublin: Protest at the Department of Justice, 94 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2 at 1PM on Friday July 13th

12 July 2007

Since October last year, a huge force of Gardaí have been in control of the Shell refinery site at Bellanaboy in North West Mayo. In the course of the peaceful protests by the local people and others who are opposed to Shell’s scheme, there have been many instances of Garda violence and scores of people have been injured, some seriously.

Despite the dozens of complaints to the Gardaí, the Garda Ombudsman Commission, TD’s, MEP’s etc, and despite the many instances of video evidence of Garda brutality, there has been no action taken against any member of the force.

The U.S. based human rights group, Global Community Monitor, did a study of the policing of the protests at Bellanaboy which they recently published. They said that :
“The situation in County Mayo arising from the Royal Dutch Shell pipeline and on-shore refinery has already resulted in serious injury, loss of trust in the rule of law and the Gardai and disruption to the culture and values of the area.”

In stark contrast, yesterday at Belmullet District Court, three local people were found guilty of assaulting a Garda and sentenced to three months in prison. The charge, which they deny, could not be backed up by any video evidence, nor could the injured Garda say for sure how he was injured or describe the exact circumstances of the alleged assault. Others including the accused found themselves in ditches during the protest last October on the narrow road leading to the refinery. Nevertheless, the judge found the three men, Pat O’Donnell, his son Johnathan O’Donnell, and Enda Carey guilty of assault purely on the evidence of other Gardaí who on duty during the protest. 

Many people have raised concerns about the verdict. It seems the Gardaí want to criminalise the protesters, and make it impossible for ordinary people to peacefully protest against the Shell scheme in Mayo. Throughout the history of the protests at Bellanaboy, the majority of people have concluded that the Gardaí are siding with Shell against the local community, and simply being used as a security force for the company. It is very worrying that the judiciary seem to support this.
There will be a demonstration in support of the imprisoned men in Dublin tomorrow, Friday July 13th at 1PM at the Department of Justice, St Stephen’s Green Dublin 2. The Department of Justice is on the side of St Stephen’s Green which is a continuation of Leeson Street (where the Shell headquarters is).

Please join the protest if you can, and forward this email to anyone who may interested.

You can also email the Department of Justice at [email protected].

You can also call Shell to complain (for free) on 1800201525

For further information see: ,,, and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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