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Shell responds to 409 letters from community

By: 
Áine Ryan , The Mayo News

Tuesday, 20 April 2010 09:10
Shell responds to 409 letters

Áine Ryan

SHELL responded yesterday (Monday) to the signatories of 409 copies of a letter sent to the company a week ago by members of the local community, affected by the controversial Corrib gas project.
Last week’s letter from residents of the area, which accuses Shell of subjecting them to ‘ongoing and escalating physical and psychological harassment’, was in response to a recent invitation by the company to ‘face-to-face and small group meetings within the community’ to discuss ‘this phase of the Corrib gas project’.
A Shell spokesman confirmed to The Mayo News yesterday that the company had acknowledged receipt of the letter, which it also accompanied by a brochure about key aspects of the project regarding the onshore pipeline programme.
The Mayo News understands that Shell’s letter states that, while it respects the objectors decision not to meet with the company in the foreseeable future, the door for dialogue will remain open.
Glengad resident Éamon Ó Murchú has confirmed that the letters from residents followed a meeting in Inver Community Centre last month, where it was also agreed that any such meetings with company representative were not on the agenda while well-known fisherman, Pat O’Donnell, remained incarcerated in Castlerea prison. Mr O’Donnell has now been in jail for over 11 weeks.
Mr Ó’Murchú said the letter was signed by people from all over Kilcommon parish, from Glengad to Pollathomas and Rossport, as well as by six people from outside the parish.    
“Some are Shell to Sea and some are Pobal Chill Chomáin supporters and some are not aligned to any group. We didn’t canvass every one of the 2,000 residents in the parish. People approached us after we held a public meeting on the issue recently in Inver,” Mr Ó Murchú told The Irish Times last week.
Meanwhile, 25 activists yesterday established a blockade at a Shell gas terminal in the UK, at Bacton, Norfolk, in solidarity with Pat O’Donnell and the protesting north Mayo community.