Rossport Solidarity Camp Reopens 2006


Rosssport Solidarity Camp is re-opening at the moment, in preparation for any attempt by Shell to recommence work, something that they couldn’t do over winter, due to the fatal combination of rain and bog.

The camp was originally set up in June 2005, as a space for people to travel to Erris to play a direct role in the struggle. Having the camp is important, as the area has a low population, and so getting more people to the coalface of resistance is crucial. Although getting little corporate/state media coverage at the moment, the Shell to Sea campaign continues to widen and deepen its resilient blockade of Shell and the state. On March 12th, former prisoners Vincent McGrath and Micheál ó Seighin, were given the honour of being grand marshals of the San Francisco St.Patrick’s Day parade. 

In February prominent Shell to Sea campaigner and local school teacher Maura Harrington was subjected to an attempt at intimidation, when her car was tailgated from the weekly Shell to Sea meeting, by a carload of young men, driving without lights, number plates or tax or insurance discs. After this car was cornered and the police called it transpired the driver was a security guard employed by Shell.

(Shell’s main activity at the moment is in ‘public relations’, and they have hired Christy Loftus, formerly of The Western People newspaper for this sort of work. Shell have also hired John Carey, who retired last year as Chief Superintendent of the Mayo Garda Division, as an unspecified “advisor”.)

While Rossport may be remote and isolated, what is happening there isn’t. A row of white crosses stand across from the main gate at the proposed refinery site in Ballinaboy, in stark silent reminder of Shell’s crimes in Nigeria.

Shell to Sea campaigners recently visited Ringaskiddy, Cork, home of a battle against a toxic waste incineration project and many travelled to Dublin to support Irish Ferries workers opposing the untrammelled rule of big business. 

In a Irish Times article Fianna Fail advisor Martin Manseragh, commenting on the battle against Shell, wrote: “Decisions on the exploitation of natural resources, and valid law and procedures to be followed by foreign companies, cannot be left to be determined by default by local agitation..” and that the government must: “redress the usurpation of its authority to deal with third parties outside the State.”.

That is our choice who will have the say, and make the decisions, ordinary working people, or IBEC’s government.

More people are welcome to come to the camp and details of how you can help can be found on our website or by phoning Tracey at 087 6543425 or Micheal 086 3588890.

Terry Clancy.

From Workers Solidarity 91, March/April 2006
PDF file online at