The Pipe

The Pipe’ is a compelling documentary of Rossport’s struggle against the economic might of Shell and the tragic divisions that have split a once-peaceful and close-knit community.

Risteard Ó Domhnaill’s passionate, brave and beautifully shot documentary, produced by Rachel Lysaght (Underground Films), for Scannáin Inbhear, has been picking up awards all over the world since its launch and Best Documentary win at the Galway Film Fleadh July 2010. The film follows the small farming and fishing community of Rossport during the height of the Celtic Tiger, as it is torn apart by a proposed Shell pipeline which could bring economic prosperity or destroy a way of life shared for generations. As pressure from the Irish government and Shell mounts, five local men go to jail, the community descends into infighting over compensation, the local headmistress goes on hunger strike and only one lone fisherman is all that stands between the worlds largest pipelaying ship – The Solitaire – and a small community’s way of life. For four years, Ó Domhnaill’s intimate access allowed him follow three members of the community; Willie Corduff, one of the Rossport Five and his attempts to defend the farm his father reclaimed from the bog; Monica Müller who controversially refused to join protests but whose court action delivered a major blow to Shell; and Pat ‘The Chief’ O’Donnell, a local fisherman who is repeatedly arrested for daringly sailing his small fishing boat into the path of the gigantic pipe-layer The Solitaire. The film captures the anxiety, anger and disillusionment of years of conflict as well as their passionate connection to the local environment, and the spirit, humour and heroism that sustains them. Ken Galvin was the re-recording Sound Mixer here at Screen Scene’s Centre Stage 1.