Shell to Sea protest at Shell headquarters
The Shell to Sea campaign staged a protest today at Shell headquarters in Dublin "to show solidarity with the peoples around the world who are paying the price of Shell's profits, including the people of Erris, County Mayo" where a natural gas refinery and pipeline is being constructed. The Anglo-Dutch energy company today announced profits of approximately €19bn, up nearly 33% on 2005 profits.
According to the capmaigners, the pipeline and refinery scheme is progressing against the wishes of the Erris, County Mayo, where the majority of residents have not consented to the scheme. In April, 2005, Shell was awarded a High Court injunction against the people of the area to prevent them from protesting against the scheme. Continued protests by five men from Rossport, Co Mayo, led to their arress and subsequent imprisonment for 90 days. The 'Rossport Five' were released from Cloverhill prison in September 2006.
Brid Ní Sheighin, daughter of Micheál Ó Seighin of the Rossport Five, said in a press release that "Shell's profits call into question the wisdom of not having any return for the people of Ireland from the Corrib gas field, which the Irish government has simply gifted to Shell and the other partners in the Corrib scheme (Statoil and Marathon). Profits from the Corrib field could pay for better schools, hospitals, and policing, but instead they will go to Shell's shareholders."
Passers-by were asked at the protest to calculate how many years it would take them to equal Shell's profit for the year. One pensioner estimated that it would take him 833,333 years to match the oil company's profits.
Shell to Sea will stage a demonstration in Dublin in protest against the pipeline on Saturday, 24 January. Protesters will assemble in Parnell Square at 2pm.