Book details gas protest by Rossport Five


A book detailing the background of the Rossport Five and their opposition to the Corrib gas pipeline was published yesterday


Micheál Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Philip and Vincent McGrath and Brendan Philbin have contributed to the book, which explains their decision to defy a court order which led to their jailing for 94 days last year for contempt of court.

Our Story, The Rossport 5, published by SmallWorld, is compiled and edited by Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology sociology lecturer and Shell to Sea campaign spokesman, Dr Mark Garavan.

According to retired schoolteacher Mr Ó Seighin in the book, the Taoiseach's role in backing the Corrib gas terminal in north Mayo before it received planning approval has been "significantly underestimated".

Former marine minister Frank Fahey, who signed the controversial orders giving a private company access to land for the onshore pipeline, was simply "doing the Taoiseach's bidding", Mr Ó Seighin said yesterday. He was referring to Mr Ahern's presence at a Bord Gáis contract signing, before planning permission had been sought for the Corrib terminal.

It was clear the project could not now go ahead without maintenance of significant Garda resources in north Mayo, Mr Ó Seighin added. It was "frightening" to see how "casual" the Garda Síochána was about "the truth and the level of their own violence" in the Bellanaboy area.

The five men were released from Cloverhill Prison, Dublin, on September 30th, 2005, when Shell E&P Ireland agreed to lift its temporary injunction imposed on the group, three of whom were landowners on the pipeline route.

The men have recently called for a commission of inquiry which would identify the optimum development concept for the project. This is supported by Labour, the Green Party, Sinn Féin and Independent TDs.

Willie and Mary Corduff describe the "silent torture" which they experienced before the issue was brought to national attention, the impact this had on their six children and the unquestioning support which the Catholic Church gave to lead developer Enterprise Energy Ireland.

Dr Garavan, in his introduction, says that north Mayo has the "potential to be Ireland's Chiapas". He believes "the authentic voice of the Rossport Five heard in this book will stir the conscience of all who read it".