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Update on Shell campaign in Ireland and news of picket on Statoil Ushers Quay

category ireland / britain | environment | news report author Monday August 08, 2005 21:21author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Release the Rossport 5

Over a dozen people picketed Statoil on Ushers Quay on Friday 5th August as part of the ongoing campaign of solidarity with the 5 men jailed for resisting a potentially dangerous gas pipeline being built near their houses. Significant victories have now been won in the campaign.


Shell update and news of picket on Statoil Ushers Quay

Over a dozen people picketed Statoil on Ushers Quay on Friday 5th August as part of the ongoing campaign of solidarity with the 5 men jailed for resisting a potentially dangerous gas pipeline being built near their houses.

The campaign has won some major victories in the last couple of weeks. First Shell abandoned all land based pipeline work for the year. Shortly after this - when facing the threat of a blockade fleet of local fishermen - it announced it was also abandoning pipelaying at sea for the year. But it has refused to remove the injunction that is keeping the Rossport 5 in prison - despite the fact that the work they had been preventing has been abandoned.

Members of the WSM had also distributed 1000 leaflets door to door in the area two nights before the picket advertising it and explaining the background of the case. The leaflet text follows.

Force Statoil to back down at Rossport

5 men still in jail

Picket the Statoil on Ushers Quay 6pm Friday 5th August

The Rossport 5 have been jail since June 29th because they won't obey a court order not to obstruct the building of a high pressure gas pipeline passing through their own lands. The state has lined up behind the gas consortium of Shell, Statoil and Marathon.


Shell intends to employ a new, and previously, untried technology at Corrib. This technology is experimental and contains dangers of explosion, which would incinerate those living nearby.


No royalties will be paid to the Irish government and an extraordinarily low rate of tax was arranged, all of which the consortium will be able to write off. In other places in Europe the state takes 55% or even 79% of a field. Maybe Bertie thinks we don't need the cash for our hospitals?

There used to be a tax rate of 50%, an automatic 50% state stake in any commercial well, and royalties of 6%- 7%. In 1987 Ray Burke got rid of the 50% state stake and removed royalties. In 1992 Bobby Molloy reduced the tax rate to 25%, and 100% tax write offs were introduced, meaning that the companies can subtract their costs from their tax bill.

The government is giving them our gas for practically nothing and then we will have to buy it back. The millionaires are good at looking after each other. We should do the same, today that means supporting the ordinary people of Rossport. With others the local group of the Workers Solidarity Movement will be picketing the Statoil on Ushers Quay this Friday - come down and join us.

More details on the Corrib gas pipeline and the Rossport 5

Before the picket
Before the picket

During picket
During picket


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