Friday, June 25, 2010

éirígí slam latest Jailing of Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington

(Updated 28/6/10)

Shell to Sea and Human Rights activist Maura Harrington was arrested on Friday June 25 as she left a funeral in Doohama, Co Mayo. She was detained for non-payment of fines relating to her involvement in protests against Shell's planned pipeline and the giveaway of our natural resources.

She was brought to Belmullet Garda station and then on later in the evening to Mountjoy prison.  A protest organised by Shell to Sea, and including éirígí activists, took place outside the jail on Friday evening as she arrived.  (Photos at the bottom of this article)

Maura has on a number of occasions previously been arrested and jailed as a result of her unwillingness to bow to Shell law in north Mayo. Her most recent detention in Mountjoy was only last December.

Other Shell to Sea and human rights activists, Pat 'the chief' O'Donnell and Niall Harnett are also currently serving sentences in Castlerea prison as a result of their resistance to Shell.

Condemning the latest arrest and jailing of Maura, éirígí Sligeach activist Gerry Casey said that the timing of her arrest was deliberate and designed to assist Shell who are to resume work in north Mayo in the coming days.

Casey said: “The arrest and imprisonment of Maura Harrington once again is despicable but not surprising. The timing of her arrest is also no coincidence.”

He added: “Once more, the Gardai are doing the dirty work of Shell. As with the jailing of Maura on previous occasions, and with Pat O'Donnell and Niall Harnett both of whom remain in Castlerea Prison, removing key activists opposed to Shell's pipeline and the giveaway of hundreds of billions of euro worth of natural resources, is a deliberate tactic used by the Gardai to assist Shell.”

“In this instance, Shell are to resume work on their project in a number of days. Quite clearly Maura was removed at Shell's behest in an attempt to lessen legitimate protest against their activities.”

"It is a testament to Maura's steely determination that Shell and the Gardai feel the need to target her for intimidation, assault and arrest and feel the need to remove her from Mayo in order to force this dangerous pipeline through. She has been a consistent thorn in their side and has refused to bow down or be bought off despite everything that Shell and all arms of the state have thrown at her on Shell's behalf."

“Maura's only crime is to stand up to injustice, to stand up for the safety of the people of north Mayo and to resist giving the Irish nations vast wealth to private companies, wealth that could be utilised to reverse cutbacks, increase living standards for all and to provide efficient health and education serevices for all.”

He concluded: “It is not Maura that should be in jail. It is the bankers, the developers and the politicians that brought this country to its knees, that squandered and pilfered the wealth created by workers and that created the worst recession seen by this state, that should be in Mountjoy tonight and for a long time to come. Maura Harrington, and her colleagues in Castlerea prison, should be released immediately.”

*  Photos from Friday's protest outside Mountjoy Prison

Shell to Hell


Jailing Activists at the Behest of Shell

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