Anakana Schofield – Award Winning Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky


I should be afloat with considering the implications of indentation on my (novel) sentences instead I remain abuzzed from a documentary The Pipe I saw at today’s Projecting Change Film Festival at SFU Woodwards.

Here at Literature et Folie we’ve been supporting the Rossport 5 for many years with the link on the old sidebar, but The Pipe is quite an extraordinary documentation of the struggle the community of Rossport endured when they took on the govt- enabled – corporate- bully Shell. This film was particularly moving for me being of strong Mayo stock myself and it taking place in a very familiar landscape. Knowing that landscape is also to know the implications of what Shell proposed to inflict on it.  As Pat ‘The Chief’ McDonnell said “You can’t trust the Bog”. I watched the documentary with several other women from rural Ireland and it was a staggering watch and emotional. We talked after of the incredible strength and courage of those who stood up and persisted in the quest of justice. Even though the community is irrevocably damaged by what took place over the 8 years and the divisiveness it inflicted amongst them — it’s still an incredible tribute to the plain person’s determination to speak up and resist the bullying tactics that are employed to put the fear of God into people and suppress their voices.

The most galling and appalling moment in the film is actually the shot of Bertie Ahern talking about people “breaking the law”. It almost sent me out of seat with fury, given what we now know of the damage to the country by successive Fianna Fail governments and the wanker bankers still on the loose and NAMA -itis that continues to closet them from facing the music for the mess they made.

The sheer audacity that the govt enabled corporate bully assumed they could plough in and plant their pipeline any old where that suited, with no regard for the livelihood and safety of the people living there. That those people had to go to the European court to get any sense at all and were thrown in jail and abused by the local Garda force. But still they rose again. And by the sounds of it their struggle continues and is far from over

Here is the trailer for the documentary, I’d highly recommend you try to see the film as its a great reminder of the need to speak up and refuse to be silenced regardless of the personal price & discomfort that comes from that stance. Justice is not a popularity contest, it’s a hard battle and in this case, the people prevailed momentarily at least. (Thanks to the divine intervention of mechanical failure, followed by the courts).

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