A People’s Uprising Against Shell Oil in County Mayo, Ireland

+++ Resisting Shell around the World: A People’s Uprising Against Shell Oil in County Mayo, Ireland +++

“This is the story of people whose love for the sea, their rivers and lakes and bogs, their friends and families, their heritage, inspired them to wage a relentless fifteen-year nonviolent struggle against one of the world’s most destructive predators. Abandoned by politicians, maligned by the media, beaten by mercenaries and the police, sent to prison, they chose truth over lies, courage over cowardice, and life over death. They represent the future—a sustainable world in which all creatures celebrate the gift of living together on the only planet on which we know, for certain, that life exists”, writes author Fred Wilcox, who has chronicled the fierce resistance against the Shell-operated Corrib gas project in his book – Shamrocks and Oil Slicks.

For the community, things started looking increasingly bleak after in 2002, Shell Oil took over the operation of the project, which is located on the northwest coast of Ireland. The project includes a development of the Corrib gas field, and constructions of a natural gas pipeline and a gas processing plant. In 2005, the Rossp ort 5 – five protesters against the project – were jailed for civil contempt of court after refusing to obey a temporary court injunction forbidding them to interfere with work being undertaken by Shell on their land.

In reaction to this injustice, a coalition of teachers, farmers, fishermen, nuns, environmentalists and local businessowners came together to form the Shell to Sea Campaign. Through their resistance, which included occupations and blockades of the refinery site, an occupation of the Shell HQ in Dublin, as well as demonstrations and marches, the campaign managed to delay the construction by more than 10 years. Shell ultimately sold its stakes in the project.

Let us make Shell fall – everywhere and forever!