Westside Action

a motley crew of anarchists and activists from Bristol, Bath and South Wales

Archive for ireland

7 Rossport Protestors Jailed

This evening, Judge Mary Devins jailed seven Shell to Sea protesters at a special siting of Ballina District Court. The seven protester were arrested yesterday along with two others who were released on bail. The four women and three men who were jailed were remanded to appear at court this Friday, the 3rd July at 10:30 in the morning. The four women’s cases will next be held in Court 44 in the Four Courts, while the three men’s cases will be held in Harristown. Of the nine arrested yesterday, five were arrested for a lock-on, one for a climbing a tripod, and three others for walking across a road. For a report on these arrests read indy media article: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/92934

None of the protesters had previous convictions, yet were refused normal bail conditions. The prosecuting garda sought to have all of the protesters remanded, and Judge Devins agreed with the u in all but two of the cases. The Judge predictably sided with the prosecution’s argument that the activists were likely to re-offend, and some of the protesters, with overseas addresses, may not turn up for court. To date all Shell to Sea activists have showed up to court.

One of the activists, Eoin Lawless, in addressing the court following his remanding, stated that he believed he should be afforded the legal presumption of innocent before proven guilty. Lawless was one of the activists arrested for merely crossing the road, and was leaving the area after being directed by a Public Order garda. Judge Devin’s replied to Lawless’ defense by inquiring, “Did you take up a law degree?” She then refused Lawless’ defense argument, and remanded him to Castlereagh.

Judge Devin denied and/or deferred decisions on activists legal aid, although it was evident that some of the protesters are not able to afford legal representation. Judge Devins said, “Legal aid can no longer be dished out like smarties.” The two who were not remanded had to undertake an order to stay out of Co. Mayo and “not return to this county until the next court case.” The two who were allowed to leave were forced to pay the court 100 euros.

In making these decisions Judge Devins has again clearly shown her disdain and bias against the Shell to Sea protesters. Sending people to jail whose first offense is to be arrested for not obeying directions of a guard is ridiculous and unprecedented. People up and down this country are arrested for this charge every weekend and do not end up in jail, so why for Shell to Sea protesters? Also the question should be asked if Judge Devins is really interested in saving money for the country by refusing legal aid why is she wasting public money to send protesters to jail on minor public order offenses? It seems that Judge Devins has seen the massive state repression going on down in Erris, and decided to get in on the act.

If you would like to send well wishes to the 7 in prison, please post them to the camp or email them to rossportsolidaritycamp@gmail.com

The camp address is Rossport Solidarity Camp, Glengad, Erris, Mayo.

Related Link: http://www.ShelltoSea.com