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Blinkered Corrib advocacy must be challenged

Seán Harrington - Letter in the Western People

SIR – It’s interesting to note that Mr Brendan Cafferty has finally summoned up the courage to peep over the parapet after the credibility of his beloved Corrib gas project was utterly and comprehensively destroyed by An Bord Pleanála’s decision of last October.

Now that Mr Cafferty has finally returned to print, perhaps he would care to answer the questions posed in your editorial of last week, namely why, if this project is the greatest thing since the sliced loaf, are the people of Belmullet currently living in fear for the future of our hospital; why are we waiting with baited breath for a paltry €12m to provide a sewerage system which has been needed for the past 50 years; and why are we literally in the dark as to when 39 street lights are going to be repaired? I might also ask why the people of Erris are currently expected to drive on roads which resemble Main Street, Gaza, after an Israeli airstrike.

The decision by An Bord Pleanála provides a total, unassailable vindication of the stance taken and upheld by the people of Kilcommon parish in the face of a prolonged, systematic and shameful campaign of intimidation and misinformation carried out by the state and many elements of the media. This means that the type of blinkered, intransigent, knee-jerk advocacy of this project, as represented by Mr Cafferty (at, in his case, a safe separation distance of 40 miles) must, and will, from now on be challenged at every turn.

The one recognisable benefit of this project – local jobs – is quickly drawing to an end; the division, mistrust, bitterness and destruction of a previously companionable way of life will remain. This is the real legacy, and tragedy of Corrib.

I’m sure Mr Cafferty will have all the answers to these observations, and I await his reply with interest.

Yours sincerely,

Seán Harrington,
Toorglass, Belmullet