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Sinn Féin expresses solidarity with imprisoned fishermen

13 July, 2007

Speaking today in support of a Shell to Sea organised protest in solidarity with the three Erris fishermen who were this week sentenced to three months in prison for allegedly assaulting a Garda, Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh slammed the State authorities and An Garda Síochána for their "concerted campaign of intimidation and assault against a local community and peaceful demonstrators".

The Sinn Féin Deputy said, "I have heard personal stories and have viewed appalling acts carried out in Bellanaboy in North West Mayo by An Garda Síochána against peaceful protestors. While there have been many instances of Garda violence no members have faced any repercussions. Instead protestors have faced trumped up charges of assault.

"An Garda Síochána are supposed to be a police service there to serve and protect citizens of this state not to beat them off public roads in order to facilitate multinational companies such as Shell in their rape and plunder of our natural resources. An Garda Síochána deployed to police these protests out in Bellanaboy are behaving like Shell thugs.

"Sinn Féin remains steadfast in our opposition to the giveaway of billions of euro worth of gas by Fianna Fáil and will stand shoulder to shoulder with the besieged communities out in Mayo in their struggle against natural resource theft, environmental sabotage and Garda and Shell brutality. Criminalisation of progressive political struggles has failed in the past on this island and it will fail again. I would like to encourage every person on this island and beyond who has a social conscience to join with Shell to Sea and Sinn Féin in this struggle and call for the release of these political prisoners immediately." Deireadh

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