Arrests mount at Glengad while protester’s fishing boat sinks

There were eight people arrested at Glengad beach in north Mayo on public order charges yesterday (Thursday ).

At 7pm two men were arrested after lorries used to collect stone from a quarry were damaged. It is believed that six trucks belonging to TJ Lennon, a local quarry supplier to the Corrib gas project, were damaged. The trucks were involved all week in hauling rock to Glengad.

At approximately 4am yesterday (Thursday ) morning Gardaí arrested four men and two women for alleged public order offences. They say the six were arrested following allegations that they were trying to disrupt dredging work in the water at Glengad - where the Corrib gas pipeline is due to come ashore.

Earlier in the morning, at 2am, two fishermen were rescued off the coast of Mayo after their boat sank. Malin Head Coastguard received a distress call from the Iona Isle. At the same time two boats from the Garda Water Unit were dealing with 15 kayaks which were moving towards the Shell dredger one kilometre off the shoreline. The garda boats and the Ballyglass lifeboat went in search of the sinking vessel as well as other boats in the area. The Rachel Mary was first to arrive on the scene and took the two men on board. The lifeboat escorted the vessel, with the two fishermen on board, back to the Ballyglass pier. The men were taken to Mayo General Hospital as a precautionary measure.

Shell to Sea protester Pat O’Donnell claimed said that “four masked men” boarded his boat and sunk it intentionally out at sea where Mr O’Donnell lays his fishing pots off Erris. He claimed that he and his crewman Martin McDonnell were “attacked and held down by some of the men, while others went below deck where they proceeded to sink the boat.”

Shell E&P Ireland Limited has emphatically rejected the allegation that people employed on the Corrib Gas project were involved in any way in the sinking of the vessel.

“The location where the fishing boat sank is approximately 10 miles away from their worksite at Glengad. All boats and personnel — both operational and security — working in the bay on SEPIL’s behalf in the early hours of yesterday morning were accounted for and none was in the vicinity of the Iona Isle when it sank,” a statement from Shell said. “In fact, three vessels working for the project responded to the distress signal.”

At 11am yesterday morning (Thursday ) gardaí had not received any complaints about the incident.

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