BIG OIL, SMALL VILLAGE Friday Blue Hill
THE PIPE: Big Oil, Small Village
will be shown by Peninsula Peace & Justice on FRIDAY JUNE 29 7 pm at Blue Hill Library
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parts of two film reviews:
A compelling documentary film four years in the making, The Pipe tells the story of the small Rossport community which has taken on the might of Shell Oil and the Irish State. The discovery of gas off this remote coastal village has led to the most dramatic clash of cultures in modern Ireland. The rights of farmers over their fields, and of fishermen to their fishing grounds, has come in direct conflict with one of the world’s most powerful oil companies. When the citizens look to their State to protect their rights, they find that the government has put Shell’s right to lay a pipeline over their own. Already 5 locals have spent 94 days in jail rather than let the proposed Shell pipeline cross their lands. This once tranquil area is engulfed in turmoil, as huge numbers of police drafted in. Normal policing has broken down following baton charges, surveillance, arrests, and a hunger strike by a local schoolteacher. With the imminent arrival of the world’s largest pipelaying vessel, the Solitaire, a massive security operation is put into action by the State to ensure that the pipe is laid without interference. When all hope seems lost, events take a dramatic turn… Following the personal experience of three main characters at the height of local tension, The Pipe is a story of a community tragically divided, and the prospect of a pipeline that can bring economic prosperity or destroy of a way of life shared for generations.
Written by Rachel Lysaght
At its heart, the story of The Pipe is a profound and disturbing failure of democracy. It’s all too easy to take for granted the numerous controversies and immoralities that we hear of governments taking part in on the news because they always seem to be behind the scenes dealing, causing little or no direct damage to the civilian population. So what if a politician is in some corporation’s back pocket? It’s not great, but at least I still have my house and livelihood. Risteard O’Domhnaill’s documentary shines a spotlight on an ongoing battle between Shell Oil and the Irish coastal town of Rossport, whose small but familial community found themselves thrown to the wolves by the government which should have been protecting them….
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