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.
Galway ‘Park and Ride’ could become permanent
Date Published: 07-May-2013
A park ‘n’ ride scheme from Carnmore into Galway city could become a permanent service if there is public demand.
That’s according to the Chief Executive of Galway Chamber of Commerce, Michael Coyle.
The pilot scheme will begin at 7.20 next Monday morning, May 13th.
Motorists will be able to park cars at the airport carpark in Carnmore and avail of a bus transfer to Forster Street in the city.
Buses will depart every 20 minutes at peak times and every 30 minutes at offpeak times throughout the day, at a cost of 2 euro per journey.
Tuam awaits UK hay import as overnight rainfall adds to fodder crisis
Date Published: 09-May-2013
Tuam is now awaiting a third import of hay from the UK as overnight rainfall has increased pressure on farmers struggling to source fodder.
A total of ten loads are expected at Connacht Gold stores throughout the West with a load expected at the Airglooney outlet this evening or tomorrow.
Farmers throughout the county have been struggling to cope with the animal feed shortage and a below than normal grass growth due to unseasonal weather conditions.
Overnight rainfall in the Galway area has also added to the problem making ground conditions in many areas are quite poor.
Joe Waldron, Agricultual Advisor with Connacht Gold says farmers in short supply can contact the Airglooney outlet on 093 – 24101.
Transport Minister urges end to Bus Eireann strike action
Date Published: 12-May-2013
The Transport Minister is urging drivers at Bus Éireann to engage in talks with management, in an effort to bring their strike action to an end.
There were no Bus Éireann services operating out of Galway today as a result of nationwide strike action by staff affiliated with the national bus and rail union.
Up to 20 Bus Éireann drivers are continuing to picket outside the bus depot at the docks in the city this evening.
Drivers from other unions have decided not to cross the picket line and go into work today – causing the disruption to be even worse.
Bus drivers are protesting against five million euro worth of cuts to their overtime and premium pay – cuts which Bus Eireann says are vital to ensure the future viability of the company.
The majority of services nationwide are disrupted, and the union say strike action will continue until management are willing to go back into negotiations.
However, it’s not expected to affect school services next week.
Galway bay fm news understands that around 70 percent, or over 100 Galway bus Eireann drivers are affiliated with the NBRU.