Date Published: 20-Jun-2011
Admittedly it took a while to finally see The Pipe, the award-winning documentary that tells the human side of the story of the Shell fiasco at Bellanaboy – I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm for it on RTE or TG4, because it’s a story that isn’t in my own backyard.
And perhaps that why we’re not out on the streets roaring in anger at the unforgiveable decision to give away our natural gas for next to nothing – it would only concern us if it was on our own doorstep.
But Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s documentary on Rossport and Shell, and how a tiny community in a remote corner of North Mayo can take on the might of the biggest of bullies, is riveting viewing – I’m only sorry I didn’t realise that sooner. I finally saw it on E4.
By their own admission, those behind The Pipe know this is a biased story – for the good reason that Shell wanted nothing to do with them – but it loses nothing because of it.
This is a story of the little people standing up for themselves, in the face of appalling intimidation, of wanton neglect on the part of the state and dubious – to put it mildly – intervention on the part of the Gardaí.
The boys in blue might have stacked up a considerable overtime bill on their dawn patrols around Rossport and Broadhaven Bay, but more than a few of them need to ask themselves if the level of force they deployed on ordinary fishermen and farmers was really warranted.
The other reason I was reluctant to take the time to watch the Pipe is that it was described as a documentary. Technically, that’s correct because there’s no one acting here – but this is a drama in every shape and form.
The heroes are the Chief himself Pat O’Donnell and his son Jonathan, the eccentric school teacher Maura Harrington and the original Rossport Five, who showed that there are still people who will stand up for what they believe in, irrespective of the weight of numbers against them.
O’Donnell is some character and the sight of this forceful fisherman in his clapped out trawler bobbing in the giant shadow of the Solitaire, the world’s largely pipe-laying ship, is a powerful image that will live long in the mind.
Of course this is a community divided as well, after some locals quite legitimately took the compensation offered by Shell to facilitate the laying of the high pressure gas pipeline.
And equally, there are outside influences at work who are using the Shell to Sea campaign as a flag of convenience to agitate.
But at the core of the opposition to Shell is a small group of smallholders who inherited their bit of land and love of sea from their forefathers and who will not give that up without one hell of a fight.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.
Judge adjourns Connemara assault case
Date Published: 08-May-2013
A date will be set next October for the trial of a 52-year old Connemara man, who is charged with assaulting traditional Irish musician Noel Hill five years ago.
Michael Folan from Teach Mór, Lettermullen, is charged with intentionally or recklessly causing serious harm to Noel Hill at Tí Padraig Mairtín Beag in Leitir Mór, on St Stephen’s Day, 2008.
The matter had been listed for trial on several occasions before Galway Circuit Criminal Court in the intervening period.
It was referred to the High Court in Dublin last year for judicial review after Michael Folan said he wanted his trial heard ‘as Gaeilge’and that a bi-lingual jury be made available to hear the case.
At Galway Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Rory McCabe adjourned the case for mention to October when it’s expected a date will be set for trial.
Bank of Ireland Galway Shopping Centre branch to close
Date Published: 10-May-2013
Bank of Ireland’s branch at Galway Shopping Centre on the Headford Road is to close in July.
The branch is to merge into the BOI outlet at Galway Industrial Estate in Mervue.
Galway Bay fm news reports the 14 staff impacted are to be offered redeployment and there will be no job losses.
Galway RNLI rescues three people stranded on Hare Island
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway RNLI Lifeboat has come to the rescue of three students who got stranded on Hare Island after getting caught in the tide off Ballyloughan Beach.
The two girls and boy, in their late teens had gone for a walk and were spotted waving from the island by a local resident who contacted the emergency Services and Galway Lifeboat.
Conditions at the time (4pm) were very changeable with heavy showers.
Three members of the Lifeboat shore crew were working in the vicinity of the station at the time and launched the boat in six minutes.
The three students were picked up safely and brought back to the Lifeboat Station at Galway Docks where they were warmed up and given tea and did not require medical attention.