Tag Archives: County Mayo

Shell to Sea campaign vindicated

In February 2008 I wrote about the 10-year long campaign in Co. Mayo, Ireland, opposing pipeline construction in relation to Shell’s development of the Corrib gas field.

It is great to be able to report that the campaign has been vindicated by a recent decision of An Bord Pleanala (The Planning Board). The Bord describes the risks to people living close by the intended pipeline route as “unacceptable”. See the report in the Irish Independent, here, and analysis of the decision by campaign supporters here.

Of course, the struggle is far from finally won. But as a result of the campaign, and the decision of An Bord Pleanala, Shell has to submit a new plan.

There is much inspiration to be taken from this campaign. The patience, tenacity and commitment required for successes in such situations is considerable; mutual support and solidarity is essential; maintaining the vision throughout is absolutely critical.

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Filed under David, social justice, sustainability

The sense of place in environmental protest: Insights from County Mayo, Ireland

Environmental protest very often appears in localised forms: grassroots opposition to ‘development’ projects that grows out of an intuitive sense that a particular project is inappropriate. Such locally based campaigns are almost always accused of selfish or reactionary ‘nimbyism’, simply because local groups only appear to be interested in the locality. It seems that the lack of a national organisation, paid staff, bureaucratic processes and an endless stream of policy verbiage somehow offends the Establishment: if you don’t speak their language and play their games, they won’t acknowledge your interest in the issue on your doorstep.

Nevertheless, there is great strength in grassroots organising and a locally based campaign. Irish academic and activist Mark Garavan has recently provided some wonderful insights into this strength by examining the (still ongoing) opposition to a major gas refinery project in North Mayo, north-west Ireland.

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Filed under David, green politics