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RPWEB: Irish Residents Keep Shell Oil at Bay

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) February 24, 2006 — Five residents of County Mayo, Ireland, were jailed for blocking Shell Oil Company and their Irish Government partner’s plans to pipe raw gas through their communities and close to their family homes.
Shell Oil plans to build a giant processing plant on one of the county’s most spectacular and pristine stretches of coastline.
The jailings set off a storm of protest throughout Ireland with widespread international support, including protests, marches, petitions, fundraisers, blockades and pickets aimed at blocking the billion-dollar gas project.
“We have refused access because of the certainty that if this pipeline as currently proposed ruptures we, our families and neighbors, will die,” said Vincent McGrath, a retired teacher who was jailed with four others for 94 days last year for obstructing work on the pipeline.
“What would you do if a court ordered you to accept installation of a potentially lethal pipeline which no state agency has or will take responsibility for?” McGrath said.
McGrath and the four other prisoners have come to be known across Ireland as the “Rossport 5.”
The Rossport 5 gained international attention when they were imprisoned for what the Irish Judge, Finngean deemed to be contempt of a court order taken out by Shell.
This shot taken by Shell Oil was an apparent attempt to quickly silence a community’s efforts to ensure that the health and safety of their families, and the environment, would be protected.
Additionally, there is concern that relatively no local jobs would be created, and there would be no return to Irish owners of the resource. Shell would sell the oil back to Ireland, with no contribution to Ireland and the economy.
As Shell Oil threatens to put the Rossport 5 back into prison, Irish political leaders in the U.S. are urging U. S. citizens to support the Rossport 5 and their community.
“The Rossport 5 are to be commended for protecting their families and community,” commented Séamus Collins, Chairperson of Irish Northern Aid, San Francisco.
“It doesn’t make sense for the Irish government to put the interests of a big oil company before safety of its own citizens,” Collins said.
Irish Northern Aid is asking supporters in the U.S. to take action. To voice an opinion to Shell Oil and the Irish government, visit:
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