Michael Finnegan, President of the Workers Party, has today described the nine month jail sentence imposed on Maura
Harrington on Thursday 10th December as “barbaric in the extreme”.
“Maura Harrington is a community and political activist involved in a noble fight to defend her community
and to ensure the safety of the families who live there, be they farmer or fisherman. She has stood up against the Shell Oil
Company, one of the largest and most ruthless mutlinational companies in the world, and they have resolved to destroy her.”
“One of the most pathetic aspects of the persecution of Maura Harrington, the Rossport Five, and other activists
in that area, is the craven role of the Irish state, the Irish courts system, and the Garda Siochana. Our state, our courts
and our police service are constitutionally duty bound to protect the common good and to protect the rights of Irish citizens.
Instead the reverse has happened. The state, the courts, the gardai have become an extension of the Shell Corporation. From
the initial give-away of the Corrib gas field, to the collusion of Caoilte, the jailing of the Rossport Five, and the present
jailing of Maura Harrington there has been a grossly uneven playing field”.
“It is ironic, but very relevant, that Maura Harrington began her 9-month incarceration on the very day that
Shell Oil was given control of a 12.8 billion barrel oil field in Southern Iraq. Shell Oil has immense political power, and
has always collaborated profitably with the CIA and the British Foreign Office. They were always prepared to “invest”
money in political leaders who would be beneficial to them. Their historically malign role in Iran, and their present role in Nigeria, Latin America, and in Iraq is testament to these connections. The tragedy for
Ireland, for Glengad and Rossport, and for Maura Harrington and her family is that certain Irish politicians were part of
Shell’s world wide investment”.
“Once again we offer our full support to Maura Harrington and her family. We believe that the injustice that
has been inflicted on North Mayo, and in particular the communities of Rossport and Glengad, must be corrected. And lastly
we demand an end to the scandal of the giving-away of our natural resources. This scandal was first exposed by the Resources
Study Group almost 40 years ago. Sadly in that time the scandal has worsened rather than ended”.
Issued Sunday 13th December 2009