éirígí chairperson Brian Leeson has called for the immediate release of Maura Harrington and Niall Harnett and urged people to attend a demonstration at Mountjoy jail, Dublin tonight.
The two Shell to Sea activists were each sentenced to four months in prison today [Thursday] for their roles in the ongoing peaceful opposition to Shell Oil's project in the Erris area of Mayo.
In response, the Shell to Sea campaign has called a protest at the gates of Mountjoy jail for 6pm this evening, the time Harrington is expected to arrive to commence her incarceration.
Leeson said: "The sentences that Maura Harrington and Niall Harnett today received are part of an ongoing attempt by the Twenty-Six County state to intimidate the Shell the Sea campaign and the residents of north-west Mayo. These attempts will ultimately prove futile."
"Maura and Niall are not guilty of any crime. What they are guilty of is standing up for the safety of the Erris community and demanding that the natural resources of Ireland be used for the benefit of the Irish people. Unfortunately, in today's Ireland this has become a punishable offence."
"Earlier this month, the Dublin government released a report which recommended sweeping cuts in public services and social care. Today, the same government jailed two people for daring to make the reasonable point that the natural gas off the west coast could be exploited to fund the public purse. Clearly, Fianna Fáil cares more about Shell Oil than it does about Irish citizens."
Brian continued: "The jailing of Shell to Sea activists and the persecution of the campaign and the Erris community by the state and Shell is wrong and should stop immediately."
“éirígí is encouraging as many people as possible to gather outside Mountjoy jail at 6pm today to demand the immediate release of Maura Harrington and Niall Harnett. As long as they remain incarcerated, they will be a symbol of the Twenty-Six County government’s warped priorities.”