Politicians Beg Shell To Stop Death of Irish Woman

by Dublin Shell To Sea - Shell To Sea

Politicians and Campaign supporters call for immediate Shell clarification on Solitiare

Several prominent politicians today called for Shell to immediately make explicit what the intent of the pipe-laying ship Solitiare is. Given that Maura Harrington is entering her 10th day of hunger strike, and there are various rumours going around about the sea worthiness of the pipe-laying vessel, Tony Gregory TD, Sen. David Norris, Joe Higgins, Patricia McKenna, Andy Storey (Afri) and the filmmaker Ken Loach [director of The Wind that Shakes the Barley] all signed up to the joint statement calling for the Multinational Shell to give an unequivocal announcement, rather than playing with the life of local campaigner Ms Harrington.

Several prominent politicians today called for Shell to immediately make explicit what the intent of the pipe-laying ship Solitiare is. Given that Maura Harrington is entering her 10th day of hunger strike, and there are various rumours going around about the sea worthiness of the pipe-laying vessel, Tony Gregory TD, Sen. David Norris, Joe Higgins, Patricia McKenna, Andy Storey (Afri) and the filmmaker Ken Loach all signed up to the joint statement calling for the Multinational Shell to give an unequivocal announcement, rather than playing with the life of local campaigner Ms Harrington.

Along with Shell To Sea supporters around the country, they are aware of the blatant disregard that Royal Dutch Shell, parent company of Shell in Ireland, for the lives of whole communities in the many places the extract local natural resources. They are also aware Shell are playing a dangerous cat and mouse game but refusing to make public their intentions and that of the Solitaire, which lies idlying off the coast at Killebegs, Co Donegal.

Below is the joint statement released this afternoon.

“Maura Harrington, a 55 year old school teacher, is now entering her 10th day on hunger strike in Glengad, Co. Mayo. With every passing day, an increased risk to her health and life is posed by Shell’s intransigence.

Maura began her hunger strike when the biggest pipe-laying ship in the world, Solitaire, arrived to start laying the pipeline for Shell’s controversial Corrib gas project. Since then, according to Shell, the Solitaire was damaged and withdrawn to Killybegs harbour in Donegal. However, Maura remains on hunger strike, calling for Solitaire to leave Irish territorial waters, and is growing physically weaker by the day.

It was previously reported that Shell would not attempt to lay the pipeline until next year, however no statement from Shell has been forthcoming to confirm or deny that. If Shell were to confirm this, we feel that that would hopefully provide sufficient grounds for Maura to end her current protest.

Instead, however, Shell has chosen to maintain a stony silence. In reality, one of the biggest multinationals in the world is playing a game of high stakes poker with Maura’s life. We are calling for an immediate end to this “game”, and for Shell to reveal its intentions – to clarify whether they will attempt to lay the pipeline before the end of the year.

If they do not clarify their position, and anything happens to Maura, Shell will be responsible.”

Update:

Shell to Sea statement, 19.09.2008

MAURA HARRINGTON ENDS HUNGER STRIKE AS SOLITAIRE LEAVES IRISH WATERS

Today’s departure of the Solitaire from Irish territorial waters is a major victory for both Maura Harrington and the Shell to Sea campaign. We hope that it does not attempt to return to Irish waters. If it does it will be met with even more determined opposition on land and at sea.

Shell to Sea salutes the courage and tenacity of Maura Harrington throughout her hunger strike, and we wish her a speedy recovery for her ordeal in the company of her family. Her action has resonated around Ireland and the world, and has shone a light of publicity upon the situation in Erris, publicity which Shell and the Government of Ireland have tried with all their power to deny us.

We hope that the breathing space that the departure of the Solitaire brings will lead to dialogue to create an acceptable solution for the community here. It is time that Minister Eamon Ryan engaged honestly with the local community.

We also hope that people around Ireland acquaint themselves with what is being done to their fellow-citizens in Co. Mayo in their name with their taxpayers’ money.

We re-iterate our opposition to the foisting of this unwanted project on the people of Erris and the give-away of Ireland’s natural resources to multinational corporations.

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