Rossport Solidarity June Gathering 2010 - 10 years of Local Resistance

June 2010

The 2010 Rossport Solidarity June Gathering was a huge success, with a crowd of over 250 people, many inspiring workshops, a great party with bonfire singalongs, and blasting sunshine. Some of the workshop highlights included, reflections on 10 years of the campaign, looking at local archeology, linking community struggles, direct action training, renewable energy windmill maintenance ,and a talk on the fight against an open-cast coal mine in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales ( was particularly inspiring and moving to see local residents and long term Shell to Sea campaigners meeting and chatting with the local couple opposing the coal mine in Wales, as well as another Irish farming couple from Tyrone who are embarking on a campaign to stop a motorway over their land (  In fact, the next Irish Climate Camp will now be taking place in Tyrone, to support and highlight this worthy local campaign opposing unsustainable transport infrastructure. See for more details)) 




We also had a community inspection of the illegal pipe at the beach, which didn’t quite manage to uncover the pipe, but a good day was had by all nonetheless working and dancing together to some rocking music infront of Shell security! The gathering sent out a powerful message highlighting the continuing strength of the resistance to Shell.


One of the best features of the weekend was the arrival of the amazing Merthyr to Mayo bike ride (, that rode 550km in two weeks to be here for the gathering, and were joined by the Madrid to Mayo crew, who came from even further! Their colourful caravan up the west coast spread the message about communities fighting fossil fuel extraction. They distributed information, hosted fun bike repair workshops and made new links and friends all along the way.  Different Shell to Sea groups and random folk openned their hearts and homes to let the 50 odd cyclists camp or kip on their floors and some cooked some impressive spreads for them en route.  On Friday June 5th, they cycled from Ballina to the Bellanaboy Shell Refinery site and were met by the warmest and most energetic welcome by many of the locals and other Shell to Sea supporters of all ages.



On their bike trip, one of their stops was Castlerea Prison, where two brave men are imprisoned for refusing to bend their knee to Shell. Ceol at Castlerea featured Mickey Coleman, Jimi Cullen, and the Bike ride céilí group, and made a real show of solidarity for Pat O’Donnell and Niall Harnett on the other side of the walls. They definitely heard the racket on the outside and when we heard Pat holler on the inside, it was greeted with a cheer from crowd.



Speaking of Niall, we received a lovely phone call from him, which was broadcast over some loudspeakers to all his friends at the gathering in Glengad. It was great to have him at his favourite event of the year, and he spoke about having been given hope in our ability to make political change when he first met many of the people in Mayo, and through Gluaiseacht circles, an Irish network of activists that supports The Rossport Solidarity Camp. (  Niall and Pat, ye’re badly missed – please write to them in Castlerea.



The Rossport Solidarity Camp is now set up for the summer in Glengad – call in for a chat, a paddle and a cupán tae!

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