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Irish Times: Five arrested over protest at Shell refinery

14/09/2007  13:01

Five people were arrested today after around 50 protesters occupied Shell’s proposed Corrib gas refinery at Bellanaboy in Co Mayo.

Up to 300 supporters of the Shell to Sea campaign began gathering outside the site from early this morning. A large number of them later scaled the gates of the complex.

According to witnesses, there were a number of violent clashes between protesters and gardaí wielding batons.

The activists were on the site for around 40 minutes before being removed by gardaí. They are now holding a sit-down protest outside the facility, and some 200 gardaí are at the scene.

One man was arrested on suspicion of assaulting a garda and four were held for alleged public order offences.

Two gardaí were reported to have been injured.

Work at the site was halted during the occupation.

Shell to Sea spokesman John Monaghan said this morning the campaign was in favour of non-violent direct action.

Elsewhere, five Shell to Sea environmental campaigners who blockaded the entrance of a Bord na Móna site in Co Mayo were sentenced to 100 hours’ community service in lieu of three months’ imprisonment at yesterday’s sitting of Ballycroy District Court.

The five defendants took part in  a “lock-on” protest on June 5 th at the entrance to the site at Attawalla, Bangor Erris.

The protesters lay on the ground and put their hands into sewage pipes and locked themselves together using climbing hooks. The fire brigade was called to free the protesters, and up to 200 trucks were prevented from entering the site.

http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2007/0914/breaking30.htm

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