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Irish Mirror: MOVE OUT BY NOON

TOM GILLESPIE, The Mirror
Published: Aug 01, 2007

A JUDGE has slapped a Friday noon deadline on Corrib Gas protesters to move out of their “Solidarity Camp”.

Castlebar Circuit Court judge Harvey Kenny set the date yesterday for leaving the site ahead of a full hearing on September 3.

An application will then be made by Mayo County Council to shut the camp for good.

Council chiefs claim the encampment is unauthorised and is causing “irreparable damage” to the local area.

Mr Sean Deegan BL, acting for four defendants Mark Robinson, Eoin O’Leidh’n, Bob Kavanagh and Niall Harnett, applied for an adjournment to enable him to mount a defence.

Judge Kenny said he would agree to an adjournment provided no one remained in the camp and set the deadline to allow for a “reasonable packing up time”.

Mr Deegan told the judge he had a difficulty with that as “these people would be homeless”.

Judge Kenny later agreed that two people be allowed to remain at the site for security reasons if their names were provided.

He insisted: “No other persons are to occupy the site. It is to remain vacant.”

The court was told Bob Kavanagh and Eoin O’Leidh’n had agreed to stay behind to provide security.

The Solidarity Camp was set up in 2005 and functions as part of the Shell To Sea campaign as a gesture of support for five locals jailed because of their opposition to the onshore gas pipeline.

Mayo County Council is seeking the defendants “cease the unauthorised use and development of lands”. In an affidavit to the court, the local authority claimed there is no planning application in respect of the camp. It was also claimed the site was being used as a base for those coming to the area to protest against the Shell project.

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