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Corrupt Irish Premier Bertie Ahern and the imprisonment of the Rossport Five

FROM OUR SEPT 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE

Irish Times: Jailed protesters made their point, says Taoiseach

“…Bertie Ahern has said the five Mayo men imprisoned for contempt of court in connection with their opposition to the proposed Corrib gas pipeline have made their point and it is beyond him why they wish to remain in jail.”

Monday 5 Sept 2005

Gordon Deegan

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern has said the five Mayo men imprisoned for contempt of court in connection with their opposition to the proposed Corrib gas pipeline have made their point and it is beyond him why they wish to remain in jail.

The men are today in their 69th day in Cloverhill Prison in Dublin.

Speaking in Ennis on Saturday, Mr Ahern said unfortunately he had no power to release them from jail.

“The law would be the same for me if I was in contempt of court, I’d suffer the same fate and that’s how it is,” he added.

Mr Ahern said the five have a very easy way of resolving the issue.

“They made their point many weeks ago. I really think for their families sake they are not actually making any further point by staying in jail.

“It is a decision for them and for those who advise them, whoever they are,” he said.

“So hopefully, they’ll reflect on it. They’ve made their point. We took these issues on board, months ago.”

“I am very sad that anyone should find themselves in jail for protest over an issue. Minister Dempsey has literally stood on his head all summer to assure them that their safety concerns [ would] be taken account of, that we get the best international practice from anywhere in the world to look at the issues, and we’ve convinced Shell of the rights of doing all of that.”

Mr Ahern said that endless moves have been made to secure the release of the five.

“We have been in touch with church leaders, community leaders, local leaders, political leaders. Anything that assists in getting these people back in their community.”

Initiatives by Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny and Labour Party leader Pat Rabbitte to have the men released failed last week after Shell said that there were legal impediments to its lifting the injunction.

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