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This morning a giant tunnel borer got stuck in soft bogland at a remote crossroads in Co Mayo. Property of Shell Oil Company and accompanied by gardai, the borer was being transported to Rossport, where locals have clashed with gardai during protests against the potential dire impact that oil drilling will have on livelihood and environment in the Gaeltacht village and surrounding area. Shell had named the machine, to make "it" more "Irish" perhaps; "it" - its machine, its act of drilling for profit, its dismissal of local stewardship over the land. Its name is, fittingly for today, Fionnuala, the sea god's daughter cursed to wander the lakes and rivers of Ireland with her brothers as swans for nine hundred years. Har.


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