Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Press Release

6 May 2010
Mainstream media coverage of IPSC intervention and protest at CRH's 2010 AGM

Mainstream media coverage of IPSC intervention and protest at CRH's 2010 AGM

Irish Times - Irish Independent - Irish Examiner

Demonstrators target AGM: CRH should ‘divest itself’ of Israeli company 

Barry O'Halloran, The Irish Times, 06/05/2010

PROTESTERS YESTERDAY called on Irish building materials giant CRH to dispose of its interest in an Israeli company which they claim is party to human rights abuses.

CRH owns 25 per cent of Mashav Group, which in turn owns 95 per cent of Nesher, Israel’s sole cement producer and the country’s biggest supplier of the material.

Protesters outside the group’s annual general meeting and speakers at the gathering demanded that the group “divest itself” of its stake in Mashav.

Some argued that Nesher is almost certainly supplying cement that is being used to build a wall that forms part of a 700km barrier along Israels West Bank, which the government says is necessary to protect citizens, and settlers in illegal settlements on Palestinian territory.

Chairman Kieran McGowan and chief executive Myles Lee pointed out that the company sells cement to both Israelis and Palestinians and did not discriminate between either.

The protests were led by the Ireland Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, which distributed leaflets outside the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, where the meeting was held yesterday.

A protest organised by the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign outside the Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, yesterday during the CRH agm. [Photograph: Eric Luke

Market dominance will prevent CRH from Quinn Cement bid 

Emmet Oliver, The Irish Independent, 6/05/2010

[CLIP] The AGM was dominated by questions from pro-Palestinian protesters unhappy with the company's involvement in the Israeli cement market, through ownership of a company called Mashav.

Mr Lee and chairman Kieran McGowan mounted a strong defence of the company on this question, saying that it did not discriminate between any customers, regardless of their political allegiance. Mr Lee said the company was also supplying, through subsidiaries, the Palestinian Authority. [CLIP]

CRH shares see fall over 23.5% drop in turnover  

Brian O’Mahony, The Irish Examiner, 6/05/2010

[CLIP]The meeting was dominated by protesters both inside and outside the meeting representing the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign.

They accused the group of profiting from the wall still under construction that cuts off nearly 50% of Palestine’s West Bank.

A leaflet distributed by the protesters before the meeting said CRH was engaging in illegal activities in "occupied Palestinian territory".

That claim was made to the meeting also and was strenuously denied by the chairman of CRH group, Kieran McGowan.

The nub of the accusation is the 25% stake bought by CRH in Mashav, an Israeli holding company in 2001. It controls Nesher Cement which makes 85% of the product sold in Israel.

It is being used to build the 450km long wall that has cut the Palestinian West Bank in half. Brian Cassidy said he had seen the wall in person and told the CRH board: "I felt a terrible sense of shame."

David Landy, another shareholder, accused the group of "war crimes".

Mr McGowan pointed out that CRH sells cement to all comers in the region, adding that The Palestinian Community Services Company "chooses to be a customer of Nesher".

That defence was also offered by Mr Lee to journalists after the meeting.

"We sell to all customers and the Palestinian Authority is a significant customer, they don’t have a problem of sourcing supply from Nesher and Mashav," Mr Lee said.

He declined to comment when asked if the company would not be better off selling the business given the level of protest it encountered yesterday. [CLIP]


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