On February 11, Pat O’Donnell received a seven month prison sentence at Castlebar Circuit Court. relating to two separate incidents that occurred in September 2008. These incidents occurred during a cavalcade organised in support of another prominent Shell to Sea campaigner Mayo woman Maura Harrington, who was on hunger-strike at the time.
Sligo éirígí activist Gerry Casey said: “As Pat O Donnell enters his second month unjustly imprisoned at the behest of Shell, éirígí want to re-iterate our demand for his immediate release. We also pledge our ongoing support for the community of Rossport and surrounding areas in their struggle against the oil giants Shell, a multi-national company with an appalling human rights and environmental record worldwide.”
“Pat O Donnell, and others like the Rossport five and Maura Harrington who have also suffered such intimidation and imprisonment at Shell's behest, are be commended for their resilience. Their selfless sacrifice, their willingness to endure hardship for the safety of their community and the common good and their unwillingness to be intimidated or bought off with bribes is an inspiration. It stands in stark contrast to those politicians and sections of the media who sought to demonise and criminalise honourable people such as Pat and others opposed to the giveaway of our natural resources to Shell and their construction of an unneccessary and unsafe pipeline carrying raw unrefined gas through their community.”
He concluded: “The bottom line is that Shell has no right to extract this gas. It belongs to the Irish people and must be nationalised and used for their benefit, not to boost Shell's profits. Pat O Donnell should be released immediately. éirígí would urge people to take part in Saturday's national demonstration outside Castlerea prison to lend their support to the demand for his release and to support the campaign to stop Shell's pipeline and to take back our natural resources."