"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
In the aftermath of this week’s magnitude 4 earthquake off the North Mayo coast Pobal Chill Chomáin has called on the Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources to conduct an immediate independent safety evaluation of the Corrib gas infrastructure.
The group proposes that this would include a thorough examination of the gas well structures, the offshore pipeline and the processing refinery at Ballinaboy. Pobal Chill Chomain says it believes a stability analysis should also be conducted on Dooncarton Hill, where there were large scale landslides a number of years ago.
The community group says such a review is urgently required in order to allay the reasonable fears of the community directly affected by the Corrib project. During the most recent An Bord Pleanala oral hearing into the gas pipeline local residents attempted to raise the potential consequences of an earthquake as well as the effects that tunnelling under Sruwaddaccon estuary would have on the stability of Dooncarton Hill. Unfortunately, these concerns were dismissed as unworthy of serious consideration.
Conducting a proper and transparent safety evaluation is the first critical test of the safety regime which has been promised regarding this enforced project. In a statement today Pobal Chill Chomain says a glib ignoring of legitimate safety concerns merely adds to the community’s ongoing experience of dismissal and marginalisation. A serious and genuine commitment to safety requires an immediate independent evaluation.