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Unison offaly (Ireland): Let oil giants shell out for their own Garda protection

So the state has now shelled out more than three-quarters of a million euro on Gardaí protecting Shell workers in North Mayo.

Depending on your point of view, this waste of money is down to the local protesters who won’t go away or to the oil company who won’t go to sea.

But whichever side of the argument you’re on, the one thing that’s beyond debate is that it is an appalling waste of money.

More importantly, if there is spare Garda capacity, there are far more critical locations for these 110 boys in blue – rising to a high of 170 on occasion – to ply their trade.

Why not stick half of them down in Moyross to tackle the little toe rags that have intimidated a mother of eight out of her home after burning two of her children to within an inch of their lives?

How about putting the rest of them on speed patrols or implementing the new legislation on mobile phones?

Apparently a thousand motorists have been caught already – but several times that number continue to phone home from the driving seat without a care in the world.

How come we didn’t have 110 Gardaí to spare when there was a real need for their expertise, as opposed to heightening tensions in what is still a local row?

And if there is a massive bill, why not invoice Shell for it, because they make millions every minute across the globe and they are getting their gas off the Mayo coast for a fraction of the going rate?

Their well-oiled PR machine is now claiming that the locals in Bellanaboy are fairly evenly divided between the vocal section who oppose Shell’s presence and those who support them.

Is that why we have dozens of people out sitting on the road saying the rosary in advance of dawn every morning?

Shell has an appalling record when it comes to acknowledging the rights of local people wherever they drill for fuel.

Their record in Nigeria is an absolute disgrace, but they are clearly well used to driving the little man into submission no matter how long it takes.

The Gardaí who are clearing the way for the workers may well be simply doing their job, but there is something very unsettling about the sight of big burly men in yellow bids forcibly lifting and dragging ordinary, decent, law abiding people from their own roads.

Will the Minister for Justice roll out the same sort of manpower and emergency services if the locals’ fears come true and there is a massive explosion in this quiet corner of our land in the future?

It is an absolute disgrace that the taxpayer is now footing the Garda bill so that Shell can add to their billions.

When did we finally lose all touch with reality? and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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