Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Shell to Sea activists target Solitaire supply ship in Killybegs

Tír Chonaill éirígí spokesperson Micheál Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has commended the Shell to Sea activists involved in Monday’s protest at the Toisa Independent supply ship in Killybegs port. He has also called on the local community in Killybegs and throughout the rest of Donegal to give whatever support they can to the protestors and to the campaign against the give-away of our natural resources in Mayo.

MacGiolla Easbuig said: “The actions of the Shell to Sea activists who blockaded and boarded the Toisa Independent in Killybegs on Monday are to be commended. This vessel is a vital cog in supplying the pipe-laying ship the Solitaire, which is currently laying the pipeline for Shell in Broadhaven Bay in North Mayo. Any actions which help to thwart and prevent the Solitaire from laying its pipe-line are very welcome.”

He added: “Since the arrival of the Solitaire back off the Mayo coast in recent weeks, we have seen an intensification of the repression and intimidation of the local community and local fishermen by the forces of the state and by Shell security. Peaceful protestors have been arbitarily arrested and jailed. Local campaigners have been assaulted and hospitalised. Local fishermen, such as Pat O’Donnell and his family, have had their boats sank by armed and masked thugs. They have been prevented from earning their living by the Gardai who have arrested them while they legitimately went about their work and who have also impounded their boats at the insistence of Shell.”

“We are curently in the midst of a major economic recession. The Fianna Fáil led administration have imposed pay cuts and income levies. They have made major cuts in the provision of essential public services. Nurses are being laid off, hospital wards are being shut and cancer services are being moved. Now they are gearing up to attack even further those trying to survive on social welfare by slashing their income even further.”

“Yet according to the administration themselves, the state has over €500 billion worth of oil and gas off the west coast in Irish waters. However, the Irish people will not benefit from this vast wealth as in 1987, the then Minister for Energy Ray Burke ended all state involvement in oil and gas development, abolished all royalty payments and introduced a 100% tax write-off against capital expenditure for the energy companies.”

“It is now imperative that these reserves and all other natural resources are nationalised and utilised for the benefit of all the people. éirígí seek the renegotiation of all existing oil and gas exploration contracts and the creation of a new state-controlled oil and gas exploration company. The wealth generated should be utilised to provide investment in efficient and effective health and education systems for all, to end fuel poverty and to redress the neglect by the state in areas such as infrastructure, job creation and childcare.”

He concluded: “éirígí re-iterate our support for the campaign to have the gas from the Corrib field refined at sea and for all our natural resources to be nationalised. I would also like to urge the people of Killybegs and all of Donegal to give whatever support they can to the fishermen and local community affected by Shell’s activities in North Mayo and to the protestors engaged in actions like that carried out in Killybegs on Monday. We must all stand together against Shell and their corrupt allies in Leinster House.”

No comments:

Post a Comment