Songs for Rossport (working title) is a project that collects poetry, song and verse written over the last 15 years about the community struggle in northwest Mayo for a safe and clean environment. This collection features the work of John Spillane, Fintan Vallely, Jinx Lennon, Ronán Ó Snoddaigh, John Hoban, Brendan Begley, Louis de Paor, Rita Ann Higgins and Margaretta D'arcy to name but a few of the contributors.
From the moment Enterprise Oil (later bought by Shell) set about courting the powerful and influential of county Mayo, local artists and musicians began to write songs and poems to highlight the corruption that was already making its presence felt. Later, the jailing of the Rossport Five sparked a national movement calling on Shell to move offshore and once more songs and poems were written to spread the word about the corruption and injustice. Since then, through vigils, protests, countless court hearings and continuous police brutality, the citizens of these Mayo villages have maintained a long and difficult opposition to the Shell project. Their struggle has brought hardship but it has also brought them into contact with other communities and groups around the world who have had to fight corporations and governments to try and protect their environment.
Through every success and setback of the campaign, songs have been sung to spread the word, to find humour in dark moments, to strengthen spirits and to remember similar communities in far off lands.
Now, ten years after the jailing of the Rossport men and twenty years after the brutal execution of Nigerian activist Ken Saro Wiwa, we want to launch a collection of music and poetry that celebrates the Shell-to-Sea campaign and the long struggle of the north Mayo people. We have gathered together a great number of old songs and new recordings and we wish to make this collection publicly available on CD and digital download. We are also building an online platform to host the collection as an accessible archive. The collection will be officially launched in Galway city this autumn with a gala concert. To do all of this we need your help as there is a considerable cost involved, particularly for CD production and printing. Your investment in this project will ensure that you and many more people get to hear these fabulous songs.
Proceeds from the sale of the CD will help finance the printing of an information booklet called 'No Consent' which documents the experiences of the citizens of north Mayo living in the shadow of the Shell project. 'No Consent' will be a vital resource for communities facing exploitation, such as those now threatened by Fracking, in Ireland and abroad.
Any additional funds raised from CD sales will be donated to the global justice organisation, Afri, a long time supporter of the north Mayo communities, through thick and thin.