Garda wielding commando knife brings 19 hour Shell rig occuption to an end


A spokesperson for the Rossport Solidarity Camp described how an occupation of a Shell drilling platform was brought to an end when the last campaigner was removed when "a Garda climbed out to him with a commando knife and no harness or support gear to hold himself up. He slashed through the ropes, pulled at the person and elbowed him in the head."  This followed a a successful 12 hour occupation of a Shell's platform earlier this week (see photo).

Eyewitnesses described how "The protest had stated on Wednesday when three Shell to Sea campaigners boarded one of Shell's drilling platforms in the estuary along the proposed route for the Corrib gas pipeline. This occupation is the second time in three days that campaigners have halted Shell from continuing their investigative drilling in the SAC. Monday also saw. On Wednesday the protesters climbed up the legs of the platform to prevent it from moving to a new position in the estuary."

The protesters were prepared for a lengthy occupation with food, water, and even a hammock. All three stayed through the night despite the rain. Just after dawn one of the protesters came down, but the other two remained in their positions. The Garda water unit issued the standard catch all section 8 warnings used against campaigners all over Ireland and thenboarded the drill rig climbing down from the top of the platform to where the protesters were situated.

Brian Loftus a member of the Rossport Solidarity Camp who witnessed the attack from the shore described how it was  “Lucky no one was seriously hurt this morning, it could have been much worse. After the protesters were removed from the legs, the Garda with the knife fell off the platform and into the water. It is unbelievable that the Garda water unit would be that reckless with their own safety and ours.”

WORDS:Andrew IMAGES: From the article on Monday's occupation