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No noticeable benefits have accrued to Erris from Corrib

Sean Harrington - Letters to Western People

SIR – As I anticipated might happen, Mr Brendan Cafferty has avoided addressing the essential points of my letter of last week, namely that the Erris community, which has been so sorely divided by the Corrib project, is exhibiting no noticeable benefits, either economic of infrastructural, from the project, other than a short-lived boost in local jobs, which is now on the wane.

He criticises me for suggesting that Shell should be asked to supplant the role of Government in terms of improvements to the infrastructure (which I didn’t) but then he makes the ludicrous comment that Shell have put “millions into improving roads”. That remark will go down like a lead balloon around Erris at the moment as we struggle daily with damaged road surfaces.

But of course Mr Cafferty wouldn’t know that, as he only usually drives the 40 miles from his safe remove in Ballina to come and offer unqualified support for Shell at the occasional oral hearing or public meeting. In other words, he’s one of the “outside influences” which he himself has regularly and loudly condemned.

Regarding his remarks as to whether of not the APB decision of last year is a vindication of the protest, not only is it a vindication, it also serves as the ultimate proof of how inherently dangerous the proposed pipeline has been in all its various incarnations – all of which were supported by the relevant Government departments, a biased and agenda-ridden media, and the type of rebellious, non-defined groups to which Mr Cafferty himself belongs.

He’ll have to do better; the kind of flippant, off-hand contribution he makes this week is ore suggestive of a throw-away paragraph from Shell’s press office, rather than the considered response of somebody who would no doubt describe himself as a “stakeholder”.

Yours etc,
Sean Harrington