Our annual Irish Study Morning returns with a special screening of documentary feature The Pipe, which recounts the experiences of three inhabitants of an Irish village as they protest against a Shell oil pipeline which threatens their land and livelihoods. The screening will be followed by a bi-lingual post-screening discussion, all levels of Irish language welcome.
Part of this year’s Irish Language Arts Festival supported by the Government of Ireland.
Screening/ The Pipe (15)
Dir Risteard Ó Domhnaill/IE 2010/83 mins
In a remote corner of the West of Ireland sits Broadhaven Bay. It is the perfect picture postcard, where the high cliffs of Erris Head and the Stags of Broadhaven stand sentry at the mouth of the bay against the mighty Atlantic. However, this peaceful tranquility belies the turmoil that lies beneath, and the unique nature of the coastline which has sustained generations of farmers and fishermen has also delivered to Shell Oil the perfect landfall for the Corrib Gas Pipeline.
On 29th June, 2005, five men from the townland of Rossport, Co. Mayo, were imprisoned for 94 days for defying a court injunction allowing Shell Oil workers to enter their land to lay a pipeline close to their homes. The community reacted against this aggressive ‘invasion’ by blockading Shell’s multi-billion refinery, bringing the project to a complete halt. In an area which previously had only one policeman, this forced removal of local people from the gates of the refinery set in train a cycle of conflict which goes on to this day.
This captivating documentary follows three members of this small community from a quiet rural life to the arrival of Shell into their community, and the fear and anxiety which the impending project brings – forced to battle with elements within their own campaign who seek to divide and control, as their community is torn apart by the stresses of choosing to support or oppose the oil company.