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Shell to Sea protester fined

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Fine imposed on Shell to Sea protester who blocked traffic convoy


A SHELL to Sea protester who sat on top of a crane for four hours and also blocked a convey of traffic was fined €200 at last week’s sitting of Belmullet District Court.
Izzy Ní Ghraidm of 17 St Michael’s Flats, Aldenham Street, Camden, committed the offences on separate dates during protests against the Corrib Gas Project during the summer.
The first offence took place on May 15, 2012 when she walked in the middle of the road and slowed a convey leaving the Corrib terminal at Bellanaboy.
The convoy had a garda escort and when gardaí asked her to move off the road she refused. When she was being escorted off the road she said ‘get your f***ing hands off me’ and Inspector Joe McKenna explained she shouted expletives when she was asked to move again.
Insp McKenna said when she was moved a third time, she became highly aggressive and lashed out with both hands at the garda. She had to be physically removed and continued to vigourously attempt to get back onto the road according to Insp McKenna.
A second incident took place on June 6 at Ballygelly South when she obstruct traffic which was being diverted because of a ‘lock-on’ protest. On August 1, she and another woman jumped on a crane at Bellanaboy shortly after 6pm. She refused to come down and had to be removed by a special removal team resulting in traffic being blocked for four hours.
Insp McKenna said the defendant had no previous convictions but had received the benefit of the Probation Act.
Mr Alan Gannon, solicitor for Ms Ní Ghraidm said her client was against the Corrib Project but accepted that her behaviour was out of order and brought her in conflict with the law. He described his client as an ‘interesting woman’ whose family were originally from Limerick, and who has a degree in Social Science.
Judge McLoughlin stated that he was seriously considering a suspended sentence but decided against it and fined her a total of €200 instead.