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The Mayo News: Abuse claim by Shell worker

Tuesday, 03 October 2006 
Anton McNulty

A BANGOR businessman, who supplies machinery and equipment to Shell, has claimed he was blocked from leaving the Bellanaboy terminal site and was verbally abused by Shell to Sea supporters.

Mr TJ Carey, who employs ten people through his plant and tool hire business, told The Mayo News he was blocked from leaving the Shell site at 10.20pm on a Friday night recently by up to 30 Shell to Sea supporters. He claimed he was verbally abused and was only let out after the Gardaí arrived. He described the Shell to Sea supporters as ‘a law unto themselves’.

However, a spokesman for Gardaí in Belmullet told The Mayo News that there have been no official complaints of intimidation made to the Gardaí against any of the Shell to Sea supporters.

Mr Carey explained that he arrived at the Bellanaboy site at approximately a quarter to ten on the Friday night before the All-Ireland Final. He went alone to repair a generator for the security staff, as his employees were going to the football match. He said he was there just 15 minutes when he was told by security that a group had gathered at the gate.

“I brought a petrol generator and a spare gallon of petrol just for the night to keep the security staff warm and to keep their phones charged up. I was only about 15 minutes at the generator when one of the security men came down and said there were about ten people at the gate and I would not be let out.

“When I drove to the gate there was a car in front of me. People were shouting verbal abuse at me, they knew who I was. All this type of muck has been going on for a long, long time. The security called the Gardaí, I did not because, as I told one of them, Shell were paying me and I could stay there for weeks. The Gardaí arrived and they [the protesters] backed off and when I left they had a big clap and a jeer. There must have been 20 cars if not more at 10.20pm on a Friday night and up to 30 people there,” he explained.

He arrived the next day at the site with his fitter and said he was there only ten minutes when a car and trailer arrived to cross the gate. He said up to 17 people there starting giving him abuse.

“The abuse and things that were said were out of order. I just sat there and I took it all. I did not open my mouth. They were saying I should not be supplying Shell with gear and if it was money I needed they would give me money. There were other things I am not prepared to repeat, personal things, to be quite honest. Little things like that will not stop me from supplying Shell or Roadbridge,” he said.

Mr Carey said he did not formally report any of the incidents to the Gardaí because he felt the Shell to Sea supporters were a law unto themselves. He noted that he does not supply much machinery to the general Rossport area since he started supplying to Shell, but vowed to continue because if he does not ‘somebody else from outside the area will’.

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