Beat the Boreholes

7 Jul 2010 admin

From Rossport’s Shell to Sea Campaign: Sign up to BEAT THE BOREHOLES!! 
Join a continuous mass act of civil disobedience this summer at Sruth Fháda Chonn estuary.
Shell plan to drill up to 80 boreholes to survey the estuary for their proposed gas pipeline and we plan to stop them! Work will start in the coming days & continue till mid-October. The idea is that groups or individuals pledge to stop a borehole at a specific time this summer. The action you take is entirely up to you & can range from banner holding to walking out on the sands to boarding drilling rigs. We will book you into our BEAT THE BOREHOLE calendar & host you at the solidarity camp/house if needed. The camp will help with equipment/training if any is required. The aim is to get each of the 80 boreholes assigned a Beat the Borehole group. Between local groups, national Shell to Sea groups, other supportive political groups, groups from abroad, student groups, surfers, kayakers we might just do it!

Why Stop the boreholes?
A certain amount of boreholes are needed to provide an adequate survey before Shell can build their proposed tunnel under the estuary. Due to the tides, & seasonal nature of the job any disruption to work will slow the process down & could prevent them getting an adequate survey done this year. They have to stop in mid-Oct on the arrival of the Brent Geese. The estuary is a Specially Protected Area & part of the Broadhaven bay Special Area of Conservation. The operation will damage parts of the estuary & disturb the wildlife there. Some machines will be brought on to the inter-tidal areas (strand) at low tide which will be particularly disruptive to the species of birds found there.

Information about the drilling operation
Each borehole will take 2.5 days & up to 4 a week could be made. They will be drilling from 7am-7pm every week day but not at weekends. There will be movement of barges & personnel outside these hours. Two jack-up barges will be working at once in the estuary.

Ideas for Action
Groups will need to be a bit flexible as we won’t know exactly where your borehole will be until nearer the time. However here are some ideas & the main thing is to do whatever you feel comfortable doing. If you are coming as an individual we can try & match you up with other people doing actions at the same time.

* Walk out on the sands at low tide to the drilling rigs
* Stop the machines driving over the beach/mudflat areas
* Have a picnic & hold banners on the beach
* Row out to the rigs in currachs & try & get in the way
* Kayak in our inflatables out to the rigs & get in the way (training session essential, but as long as you can swim anyone can learn)
* Board the drilling rigs
* Block the boats with fishing nets and crab pots
* Disrupt the flow of personnel/equipment from Ballyglass pier

Spread the word!
There will be leaflets & posters available from the camp soon, please distribute widely. If you think you would like to pledge to Beat the Borehole then please contact us with: the date you’d arrive, how long you’re staying, number of people, whether you’d like to stay at the camp/house & whether you need us to sort out any equipment/training.

Download leaflets & posters.

The idea for this came from two campaigns; one called Faslane 365 which was a year long continuous blockade of Faslane nuclear base in Scotland. A huge number of different groups took on blockading the base for a day, from church groups to politicians to anarchists to musicians. See Also in the 1990s in Britain most anti-road campaigns used Beat the Bulldozer pledges to enlist thousands of people to pledge to take action once the bulldozers came in. There are some case histories on the website below. See

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