Irish conflict over oil pipeline goes on to this day

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It was their contention that the Irish state had subverted the constitutional rights of its citizens in order to facilitate Shell to ‘grab’ tracts of farmland against the wishes of the landowners.

The saga proved to be a public relations disaster for Shell around the world.

Within a year the Irish government sent a force of more than 200 police to this tiny community to break the blockade and facilitate the resumption of work on the project. In an area which previously had only one policeman, this forced removal of local people from the gates of the refinery and set in train a cycle of conflict which goes on to this day.