Joe Higgins MEP condemns sinking of Shell to Sea activist’s boat

We need a public investigation into the events
Joe Higgins MEP has publicly condemned the sinking of the Iona Isle fishing boat this morning near Rossport. This boat, owned by Pat O’Donnell, a prominent Shell to Sea activist in Mayo and fifth generation fisherman, was boarded by four masked men in the dead of night. They held Pat and his crewman hostage for an hour and a half, before leaving them stranded on a sinking boat. The fishermen only barely managed to inflate their lifeboat in time to escape alive before the boat sank.

This sinister attack on a prominent Shell to Sea protester marks a new low in the attempt to intimidate people from standing up against Shell’s pipeline and refinery. Pat O’Donnell is lucky to be alive today and this attack follows a vicious assault on Willie Corduff by other masked men only a month ago.

A full public investigation must be launched into these crimes. The role of Shell’s private security company, Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS), must be fully investigated in that process.

Shell spent $9.6 million this week to settle a lawsuit which claimed it was complicit in the execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other campaigners in 1995. This illustrates just how far it is willing to go to protect its obscene profits. Shell and IRMS should be removed from the project, the billions of euro of gas should be nationalised and brought ashore in a safe manner for the benefit of ordinary people across Ireland.