Shell to Sea campaigners occupying Shell drill rig in Srwaddacon Bay


Just before 7am this morning, Shell to Sea campaigners swam out to one of Shell's drilling platforms in the Srwaddacon Bay Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Erris. Two people climbed up one of the drills and have occupied it since as part of the ongoing resistance to the imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the community around Rossport.

According to a Shell to Sea Spokesperson "For the first hour a team of five swimmers and two kayakers remained in the water underneath the platform in support of the two climbers. Around 8am IRMS security violently removed several campaigners, dragging them through the water by their life jackets. There are currently 13 'safety' and security boats in the water. A Garda boat arrived at about 9am and arrested two kayakers who were paddling around the platform. They are currently being held at Belmullet Garda station.

Just after 9am, a second drill on the same platform began drilling, despite the fact that two protesters are virtually up inside the platform at the top of the large drill. This is a major violation of health and safety to continue working while people are not only underneath the platform but attached to it, and the noise would be deafening. Two complaints were made to the Health and Safety Authority, and work temporarily stopped but has now started again."

Róisín Ní Fhaolain, a member of the Rossport Solidarity Camp declaired that “We've stopped the work this morning to protect this beautiful Special Area of Conservation. It is shocking that work is continuing while people are up inside that platform, that is totally illegal and against all health and safety regulations.”

The An Bord Pleanala hearing into Shell's experimental gas pipeline has been extended to allow more evidence to be heard.  On Friday Attracta Ui Bhroin for An Taisce said that due to the technical nature of borehole data Shell have submitted to the enquiry either the hearing must be adjourned or new information by Shell must be disallowed.