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Seven held after Shell protest

Last Updated: Sunday, May 10, 2009, 09:09

Seven people have been arrested following a demonstration yeasterday evening at the site of Shell’s controversial Corrib gas pipeline.

The men, aged from their late teens to mid 40s, were held on public order offences and are expected to appear in court on May 13th. 

Gardaí said the protest began at about 7pm last night when up to 150 protesters, including men, women and children, gathered at the site in Glengad near Rossport. Some of the protesters carreid ropes and cables, and tied them to the fence at the compound in an attempt to pull it down. 

However, there was no breach of the compound, a garda spokeswoman said, and both officers and protesters escaped without injury. 

Superintendent Michael Larkin said the gardaí fully recognised the right of people to protest, and encouraged peaceful protest. 

However, he said people had arived yesterday with the “clear intent” of causing criminal damage. 

A number of notices were posted on websites in Ireland and the UK calling for those who oppose Shell’s project in Co Mayo to be in Glengad where the pipeline carrying gas from the Corrib fields is to come to shore. 

The online notices said the objective of the event was to remove fencing erected around the landfall site on the beach.

Tension in the area has intensified in recent weeks after construction recommenced after a winter break. 

Last month a masked gang entered the site late at night armed with chains and iron bars and commandeered a mechanical digger, which they used to damage the security fence. Private security guards alleged they were assaulted and threatened. 

Hours later, Willie Corduff — one of five protestors jailed in 2005 over demonstrations against the pipeline — claimed he was set upon by security personnel.

IRISH TIMES ARTICLE

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