At approximately 7am this morning, local residents and Solidarity Campers gathered at the gates of the Shell compound in Glengad, Pollatomish, Co. Mayo, and formed a blockade of the site. Gardai arrived soon after and attempted to break the protest using 'force'. Initial reports indicate that Gardai have been kicking, punching and dragging protestors by the hair, as well as pushing protestors and other forms of rough handling. Gardai also employed verbal abuse and malicious insult in their policing effort, with particular attention paid by them to prominent locals. The violent behaviour of a certain Garda MY 117 has figured prominently in early dispatches from the protest line.
Once again, Maura Harrington and her car were in the firing line, as they physically blocked the gates of the Glengad compound. Gardai forced the protestors away from Maura and her car, as a prelude to using 'force' on her and her property (she was informed by Gardai that they would smash up her car, drag her out and arrest her), as has happened to her and her family many times before. Loath to have her car smashed up a third time by 'the guardians of the pieces', she drove away from the gates to forestall possible Garda 'force'.
Two protestors have been 'arrested' by Gardai and have been 'detained' in the back of a Garda van. According to one of the 'arrestees' the detention is illegal as neither of the two were legally 'arrested'. Also, eyewitness accounts report the use of excessive 'force' during the execution of these 'arrests'. The picket ended at approx. 9am as protestors left the gates satisfied with the morning action and to regroup for possible further actions.
for photos see: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88894