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Proposed new route for the Corrib pipeline

The details of a proposed new route for the Corrib gas pipeline are being revealed at an An Bord Pleanála hearing in Belmullet, Co Mayo.

Shell Ireland is seeking planning permission to build an undersea tunnel to carry a 4.9km section of the pipeline.

For the past eight years Shell has been trying to get planning permission and local agreement for the key section of pipe linking the offshore gas field with the refinery it has built at Bellanaboy, which is 9km inland.

 

Local residents have opposed the first two routes.

The company is now seeking permission for a third route, which would see part of the pipeline being laid through a tunnel under a long sea inlet known as Sruwaddacon.

Managing Director of Shell Exploration and Production Ireland Terry Nolan said this will take it 234 meters away from the nearest house - three times further than the original plan.

Opponents of the project have said they still regard it as unsafe.

Rossport resident Willie Corduff, who was jailed for his opposition to the pipeline in 2005, said this does nothing to allay the fears he and others living in the area have and they will continue to oppose the new route on health and safety and environmental grounds.

The hearing is likely to continue for at least two weeks.

A final An Bord Pleanála decision is not expected until the end of the year.