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Residents to take case against Shell

Marian Harrison - Western People

ROSSPORT residents have been given permission to take a case against Shell, writes Marian Harrison.

The State and Shell had asked the High Court to halt an action by Bríd McGarry and Brendan Philbin alleging that ministerial consents given for the Corrib gas pipeline breached European law and the principles of natural and constitutional justice.

However, Justice Mary Laffoy ruled that the defendants could proceed with their claim against Shell.

She refused to strike out the proceedings in which the residents are seeking declarations that Shell had no interest in lands acquired under compulsory purchase orders issued in 2002 by the then minister.

The case has already been prepared and now the residents can go ahead with it.

“We’re delighted. This is another win for us; we’re vindicated,” Ms McGarry said.

Cllr Harry Barrett said he was thrilled Ms McGarry and Mr Philbin will now be given a chance to challenge the decision to grant compulsory orders to a private company.

“It beggars belief that this was the first time in the history of the State that it was allowed to happen and it is equally unbelievable that we have to rely on two private citizens to fight for the rights of the community all alone, with very little support from elected representatives.”