Shell to Sea > The West's Awake!
Open letter from the Rossport 5
Micheál Ó Seighin - Willie Corduff - Brendan Philbin - Vincent McGrath - Philip McGrath
We are currently in prison for refusing to allow Shell and their Irish
Government partners build a pipeline close to our family homes. Our crime
was to refuse access to our lands. We have refused access because of the
certainty that if this pipeline as currently proposed ruptures we, our
families and neighbours, will die.
What would you do if a court ordered you to accept the installation of a
potentially lethal pipeline which no state agency has or will take responsibility for?
We are currently in prison for an indefinite time until we accept such a
pipeline, which we cannot and will not. Would the people of Mayo or Dublin
accept a potentially lethal pipeline through the main street in Castlebar or
Stephens Green in Dublin? A pipeline which has a rupture kill zone of
several hundred metres. We think not.
Our imprisonment was only made possible by the granting of a compulsory
order for our lands to Shell by Frank Fahey T.D. while Minister for Marine
and Natural Resources. Without that order we would be free men today
at home with our families. Instead we are confined in prison cells...
We have been betrayed by our government, marginalized by sections of the
media and ignored by the "alternative" government. Instead it has been the
people of Ireland who have sustained us during this time of crisis and
personal trauma and who have rallied and continue to rally to our aid -
thank you. All we demand is for our families and neighbours to be safe in
their own homes - no more no less.
Sunday Business Post - Sunday, August 28, 2005
By Niamh Connolly
A pot full of tea, mugs and a packet of iced teacakes are laid out on the
kitchen table in Mary Corduff 's house, ready for whoever comes through the
back door. And there has been no shortage of callers to her Rossport home
since her husband, Willie, went into Cloverhill prison along with four
neighbours for obstructing exploration giant Shell's building of a
high-pressure gas pipeline alongside their land.
The Corduff house is the nerve centre of the campaign to 'Free the Rossport
The men's wives, Caitlin Ni Sheighin, Aggie Philbin, Mary Corduff and the
'two Maureens' - wives of Vincent and Philip McGrath - are resolute: the
pipeline pumping untreated gas will not be going through the bogland next to
Local teacher Maura Harrington is the latest visitor.
"Luka Bloom is in Rossport. He's down visiting the camp to show his support
for the campaign," she tells the women.
Harrington, who is the principal in Inver national school, and Irish Times
columnist Fintan O'Toole addressed a packed meeting on the Shell controversy
in Dublin last week.
"Who is Luka Bloom?" says one of the women to Maura. "He's Christy Moore's
brother," comes a chorus.
..."It was the local people on the ground that brought the issue of the
unauthorised work to the Minister, because the Department was ignoring it.
It was only because a photograph was finally presented to them of the welded
pipeline that they accepted it," says Mary Corduff.
The women express bewilderment at the postcards they are getting from
far-flung destinations in support of their campaign - from Australia, the
United States, and Africa as well as Europe...
Message from Luka Bloom
First of all, my sincere sympathies to all the people of the Gulf Coast in the US. These are heartbreaking
times there. I had one great night in Tipitina's in New Orleans in a sweltering July in 1988 with The Pogues.
God bless you all; you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I'm sending out this note to speak briefly about something which has nothing to do with my work. It concerns
a matter in Ireland which I find very heavy right now.
There are 5 men from a little village in County Mayo called Rossport in prison for nearly 70 days now.
They are not criminals. For 5 years they have been trying to protect their village from a project involving
The Corrib Gas field; a huge gas resource off the Mayo coast. The project involves Shell Oil, Statoil,
and I think Enterprise. The Irish government has granted permission to the oil companies to build a
refinery about nine kilometres inland. This means that the untreated gas will come ashore, and a pipe
will carry it the nine kilometres; passing on its route, through the village of Rossport, 70 metres from the
houses of the men imprisoned. These men, and many other men and women, have been campaigning
for 5 years to have the gas refined at sea, and piped safely inland. They have protested Shells' activity
and as a result, Shell had an injunction placed upon them. They were brought to court, and told unless
they agreed to apologise to Shell and also guarantee they would not interfere with work, they would be
in contempt of court and imprisoned. And there they are, in prison for trying to protect their community.
They will remain in prison until they 'purge their contempt', or Shell agrees to lift the injunction. Shell
won't move. The men will not 'purge' unless Shell lifts the injunction.
This is a complicated issue. I am not an engineer, and do not understand the complexities of the
project itself. But I have visited Rossport recently, and seen the incredible beauty of the place. I have
also seen the madness of this pipe passing so close to peoples' homes. And I have met the families
of some of these men. It is easy to see their hurt, that their loved ones are imprisoned for their principles.
And it is very impressive to see their determination and strength in incredibly difficult circumstances.
I admire them greatly. And I support their call for the release of these men immediately. I believe these
people have not been given a proper hearing, to voice their concerns to the Government. I believe
their imprisonment to be a gross injustice. I urge Irish people to visit Rossport, and see for themselves
the madness being visited on this community. For myself, until Shell lifts it's injunction, and allows
these men to be freed and to debate/negotiate with them, I will not be buying any petrol from Shell
or Statoil outlets.
For further information on this matter, please visit
Peace and love, Luka
Afri > Action from Ireland
From the River to the Planes - Peace Walk
5½ mile Peace walk from the Shannon River at Bunratty Castle to Shannon Airport at noon,
Lá Fhéile Bhríde, Sat. Feb. 1st 2003
Laois Nationalist - Friday, January 31, 2003
Luka Bloom promotes From River to Planes 5.5 mile peace walk
Luka Bloom signs autographs for the Clonaslee Vocational School Folk Group at Clonaslee Community Centre on Monday while
promoting the From River to Planes 5.5 mile peace walk.
The Kingdom - Kildare Nationalist - Friday, January 31, 2003
Féile Bríde adopts topical tone as anti-war activists come to Kildare
The movement against a US war on Iraq received a local boost this week as activists and concerned residents came together in Kildare town for the 11th annual
Féile Bríde AFRI conference.
... The prayers of the people of the town and the conference participants have been embroidered on individual colourful prayer flags, which hang from all the buildings in
the town. "The prayer flags are like the ones the Tibetan monks used. They are blowing in the air, they are airborne, the prayers are flying into the cosmos," she said. "It was a wonderful, wonderful conference. It was really the best ever," agreed Sister Mary Minehan. "All the speakers were wonderful."
The conference opened on Saturday at St Joseph's Academy at 11.00am. The hall was beautifully decorated with the theme of nature emanating from every corner. The
podium was draped with cream material, showered with snowdrops with woven baskets full of rushes surrounding the centre-piece - a large St Brigid's cross. The banner
behind the podium was created by students from St Joseph's Academy and was painted bright yellow with the words Féile Bríde painted in purple.
The conference began with a number of speakers talking about the history of the town, to a soundtrack of birds singing. Then the beautiful haunting voice of Deirdre
Ní Chinnéde echoed through the hall, as she sang about the fruitless nature of war. She was accompanied by Ellen Cranitch on the flute. The flame of
Brigid was brought to the centre of the podium, where it shone brightly......... On Sunday, the flame of light was lit by Cathy Kelly and Ciarán O'Reilly after a march
from the conference hall to the town square.
"Luka Bloom was absolutely fantastic. He sang his song, called
'I am not at war with anyone'. It was great, Luka is also involved in the peace march," said Sister Rita.
There is an action-packed week ahead with a variety of events planned for the remainder of Féile Bríde.
Lá Fhéile Bhríde - Saturday, February 1st, 2003
Shannon Peace Camp
St. Brigid's Day walk for Peace - From the River to the Planes
5.5 mile peace walk from the River Shannon at Bunratty Castle to Shannon airport. Starts 12 noon
Or join walkers at airport at 2pm for music, poetry and talk. Concludes 3pm.
Performance artists include Luka Bloom and Glen Hansard.
Luka Bloom's latest single, 'I am not at war with anyone',
was written and produced especially for this occasion. It is not for sale and has been released this week for nationwide radio-play.
Glen Hansard, lead singer with The Frames, will also perform.
Photo album - St. Brigid's Day walk for Peace
... Over 500 people walk nearly 6 miles from Bunratty castle to Shannon Airport. The crowd was addressed at the airport by former UN assistant Secretary-General
Dennis Halliday. A number of musicians including Luka Bloom performed on stage.
Clare FM's Local News Archive - Saturday, February 1st, 2003
Bishop leads peace rally in Bunratty
Well known singer/songwriter Luka Bloom performed along the route as well at the airport where the march ended...
by Pat Flynn
As many as four hundred people turned out for today's peace walk the River Shannon at Bunratty to Shannon
Airport. The march was held to in protest at the use of Shannon Airport as a refueling stop for U.S. military
aircraft en route to the Middle East. The group walked in a peaceful and orderly fashion to the airport from
Bunratty under the supervision of the Gardaí.
Security was tight at Shannon airport however the event organisers had assured Gardaí that the
march would be a peaceful one. Gardaí were very happy with the manner in which the protest
was conducted and organised.
IPCC - Action for Bogs & Wildlife
Book tells a tale of Ireland - then and now
Celebrating Boglands, a book published by the
Irish Peatland Conservation Council to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Save the Bogs Campaign tells a tale
of Ireland - then and now...... Reading the book one is struck by the immensity of the journey, we as a
nation have taken in just 20 years. We have come from a time and culture in which we looked on bogs from afar - wastelands to be dug, drained, burned, and planted, to a
time and culture in which we have gotten off the fence and waded in for a close look. And discovered places that although, to paraphrase one contributor, are empty of
agricultural animals or people, are
nonetheless filled with life; the stealthy sundew silently stealing insects, the magnanimous Sphagnum moss absorbing the deluges of rain, the arguing frogs.....
Celebrating Boglands is a book of many moods, some sombre, some serene, evocative of the landscape,
some steeped in recollections of a life with different challenges, pleasures and fears, and some anecdotal. It is a book to be read in little morsels, so as to savour its
many moods. It is also a
visual journey through sparkling bog pools, colourful carpets of bog moss and 10,000 years of history, seen through the eyes of artists, photographers and sculptors
(Editors Note 1).
- An unique blend art, prose, science, poetry & music inspired by the boglands
- International group of 36 contributors: Myrtle Allen, David Bellamy, Luka Bloom, and many more.
- Copies of the book are available from IPCC, 119 Capel Street, Dublin 1
GSPCA - Galway Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Music To Soothe The Animals
The double-album UnderCurrents is a showcase of artists who performed in Galway last year, including Relish,
Mundy, Damien Rice, Juliet Turner, Luka Bloom, David Kitt, The 4 of Us, Jack L, Hothouse Flowers, The Devlins, and Don Baker. Strong performances from
major artists such as Ron Sexsmith, Bela Fleck and Bruce Mathiske are also included in this not-to-be-missed album.
Jon Richards of Galway Bay FM recorded the artists in the station's studio, and has pledged proceeds from the album to both the GSPCA and Enable
USI - Union of Students in Ireland - 26 March 2001
News - Press Releases - www.usi.ie/news
Ambulances for Belaru
Students Begin 3,000 Mile Journey of Hope to Belarus
... The students will drive two aid ambulances across Europe to bring relief to an area of Belarus still suffering the effects of the Chernobyl Disaster of 1986. The
ambulances were purchased with the proceeds of a sponsored walk last November.
Autonomy.ie backs the
Biggest Charity event in Irish Student History
On Sunday, 1 April, 2001 a convoy of twenty ambulances and six forty foot
trucks will leave Ireland for the Chernobyl region of Belarus.
As a way of thanking the Irish students for taking part in the 10K walk,
numerous bands gave tracks to a compilation CD that was given to all
students who took part in the charity event. Bono, Luka Bloom, Ken Doherty
and Dave Fanning all endorsed the project which USI hope to repeat on an
annual basis with the support of Bank of Ireland.
16 Nov 2000
Students 10K Sponsored Walk for Chernobyl Childrens Project
"We also want to thank the various artists who contributed to the special Students
10K Walk CD. Because of the generosity of artists such as Kila, Juliet Turner, Dara
and Picturehouse each student taking part in the walk gets this attractive
compilation CD FREE as soon as they hand in their sponsorship card. Finally, we
also want to thank Manchester United, Bono, Luka Bloom, Dave Fanning and Ken
Doherty, who have all endorsed the Students 10K Walk."
The Voice - Issue 9 - December 2000
Students Walk for Children of Chernobyl
Students across Ireland took to the streets last month, not to march for better grants, but for the children of Chernobyl.
Ryan Brennan reports on a memorable day.
... Celebrities threw their weight behind the campaign with Bono, Luka Bloom
and Dave Fanning all endorsing the project...
Glen of the Downs
Glen of the Downs is a semi-natural woodland which is a
listed Area of Scientific Interest rated of National Importance (An Foras Forbatha 1981). The protected
area covers 95 hectares. It is also a designated National Nature Reserve (designated 13 June 1980)
and is thus protected under the Wildlife Act, 1976.
18 Jan 2000 - Christy Moore and Luka Bloom write letters to the EDITOR, Irish Times
Get the inside story from those involved in Ireland's first road protest.
The Post.ie - Sunday Business Post - Sunday, June 17, 2001
Film tells story of Glen protest
By Will Goodbody
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in a tree - or a hole in the ground? On Wednesday, there'll
be a chance to find out, when RTE screens a documentary to mark the first anniversary of the end of a campaign
by a group of environmental protesters at the Glen o' the Downs in Co Wicklow.
Just under a year ago, the last of the eco-warriors vacated their tree houses and underground tunnel homes, and
left the glen where they had spent the preceding three years, defending the woodland from a large scale road
In 1997, groups of protesters came from all over the country and from abroad to protest against the destruction
of the glen's eco-system. They made their homes in the ground and in the trees. Before too long, media
images of the protesters confronting chainsaw-wielding officials had captured the public's imagination.
The battle moved from the glen to the courts but, following High Court and Supreme Court hearings, injunctions,
and imprisonments, Wicklow County Council was given the all-clear for the road works to begin early last year.
Mike Casey, a Galway based filmmaker, took his camera into the glen for six months in 1999, as the campaign
was reaching its climax. Casey, whose background is in sociology and journalism, had made a film called
"Dole Eireann" in 1997, about "Ming the Merciless", the Galway campaigner for cannabis legalisation.
"I was looking for people who were prepared to go to jail for their beliefs," Casey said. "The idea of people
living in a wood in opposition to a roadway was a romantic notion, and it just looked like a good story.
It was a very nice quiet place at that time. The High Court case had just finished and they were waiting for
the results," Casey said. "There was just a bunch of people living in relative harmony in a forest. It looked
In September 1999, with funding secured from the Irish Film Board and RTE, Casey returned to the glen
in time for the start of the Supreme Court battle.
The half-hour film documents the legal battle, the jailing of 15 protesters, the closure of the glen to the public, the visit
of musician brothers Luka Bloom and Christy Moore to the camp and the final showdown with Wicklow County Council.....
"Tunnel Vision" will be broadcast on Wednesday at 8.30pm on RTE 1
An Phoblacht/Republican News - Thursday 13 March 1997
Set her free!
Roisín McAliskey is entering her eighth month of pregnancy in a British prison. She has been
harged with nothing. The British state cannot cope with Roisín. The German authorities have colluded
in the charade which is an abuse of her rights as a woman and as a mother-to-be. Her case has become an
Below Rita O'Reilly and Eoin O Broin report on events held over the past week in support of Roisín.
Benefit Concert in support of Roisín McAliskey Justice Group
Deirdre McAliskey, Roisín's sister returned from New York on Monday 10 March to speak
at a benefit gig organised by the Justice Campaign in Dublin. Christy Moore, Eilish Moore, Luka Bloom,
and Yenanja performed, adding to a extraordinary line-up which included musicians Noel Hill and Tony
McMahon, Cormac Breathnach, Conor Byrne and Kila.
The Burren Action Group
The Burren in Co. Clare, Ireland is one hundred square miles of unparalleled beauty. This limestone landscape is acknowledged as an area of international
importance for its flora, fauna and turlough/water ecology. The district around Mullaghmore represents a unique association of limestone pavement and turloughs which
supports a diversity of rare habitats and flora. In 1988, in recognition of its importance, the state Wildlife Service recommended the designation of the area as a Nature
In April 1991, the Irish government announced the establishment of a National Park within the southwest region of the Burren and (without consultation) unveiled plans for
an associated interpretative centre which it proposed to locate in the heart of this region, close to Mullaghmore Mountain. While the establishment of the park was
generally welcomed, the site chosen by the Office of Public Works (OPW) for the centre gave rise to widespread protest, based primarily on concern for the delicate
ecosystem of the area.
www.ireland.com - Thursday, February 17, 2000
Where the music lives
Broadcaster, band manager and music producer P.J. Curtis only discovered
Irish traditional music when he moved from his native Co Clare. Now living there again,
he tells Eileen Battersby how he became a 'blow-in' in his former home county.
The Sound of Stone, a CD featuring Artists for Mullaghmore, was released in
1993. All the proceeds, as well as all monies from fund-raising concerts,
have gone into the campaign. Luka Bloom's The Fertile Rock became a kind of
anthem. The group took their case to Europe, outlining not just the threat
to Mullaghmore, but also to Luggala in Co Wicklow, Dunquin in Co Kerry and
the Boyne Valley in Co Meath. "We went twice and presented our case to the
commissioner, Bruce Millen. The only two politicians who ever supported us
were Mary Banotti and Pat Cox. Their help was crucial in allowing us a voice
in Europe." The proposed centres in Co. Kerry and Co. Meath went ahead and
have since been opened.
The Sound of Stone - Artists for Mullaghmore
All proceeds go the Burren Action Group
Tim Dennehy - Davy Spillane - Luka Bloom - The Sharon Shannon Band - Frankie Lane - The Mary Custy Band -
Bushplant - Loreena McKennitt - Niall Sheedy - Kevin Crawford & Pat Marsh - Sean Tyrrell - Tommy &
Siobhan Peoples & Garry O'Briain - John Flanagan - The Moving Cloud
Music in the Stone
In the beginning was the silence.
The first music was wind and ocean...
Mullaghmore is a sacred mountain...
Music is the most powerful human sound. We place these 14 icons of music
before the mountain. With them we praise the ancient music hidden in its
silence. We thank all the artists who for two years have given so freely and
faithfully off their gifts. We thank all who have stood with us. May the
spirit of Mullaghmore bless everyone. Enjoy the music!