1 June 2011

Sunday 05 July
The Box
Plus Q&A with director Risteard Ó Domhnaill

The Pipe is a documentary that follows the aftermath of the discovery of gas on the shore of County Mayo, Ireland, as Shell unrelentingly attempts to take ownership of it by installing a multi-billion euro refinery and pipeline.

Four years in the making, the main focus of The Pipe is the people of Rossport, a small community home to many generations of farmers and fishermen.  Fearful of their livelihood and the environmental impact of the pipeline, the locals undergo a protest against Shell. There anger is also fuelled by suspicions that the Irish government is supporting Shell with only financial motivation. The Pipe portrays two sides to the protestor’s battle as tensions rise as they disagree on the best way to take Shell on. You cannot help but feel for the people which Ó Domhnaill meets as they have the unbelievable ability to inject humour when everything is falling apart around them.

In a village where one policeman soon became 200, the conflict results in upset, civil disobedience and even imprisonment as the protestors are forced to take even more desperate measures. The Pipe provides a vital and topical documentation of the protests, which are still ongoing today. Though what is perhaps most moving is the fact that even if the protestors do ultimately win, Rossport and its inhabitants will never be the same again.

The screening will be accompanied with a Q&A session with the director, Risteard Ó Domhnaill who first came across the dispute as a news cameraman. It hit a nerve as his uncle farms in the local area and, at that time, he was horrified at the way that the local news were reporting the story in the favour of Shell without question.

The story of Rossport and Shell appeared in The Observer Magazine last weekend. It makes an interesting read and includes some moving images of people’s own homes emblazed with anti-Shell messages. The Pipe also has it’s own website and blog which is following the film’s momentum as well as the conflict.

You can book tickets for the screening online here or in person at the Box Office.