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Democratic process failing Rossport

From ‘The democratic process has failed for the people of Rossport’, said John Monaghan, who is directly involved in the dispute with Shell in Mayo. ‘They rolled out the black carpet for Shell, built a special road for them, while we’ve been looking at potholes.’ He said local government had rolled over completely for Shell, and the community has received no support either from Mayo County Council or from most of the local TDs. Mr Monaghan was speaking at a crowded meeting in Tralee on Wednesday night He lives 70 metres from the pipe and is a neighbour and relative of most of the Rossport Five. He gave an intimate description of what the fight against the controversial pipeline and refinery meant to him, his family and his community on a daily basis. He stressed that the Shell project has been shown repeatedly to have little support either in the local area or in the county as a whole. 700 locals have signed a petition against it, and a TG4 poll showed that 65% of the county wanted the project moved offshore. The only support for the scheme comes from those businesses in outlying areas who have vested interests in the project. John gave a vivid account of early morning peaceful blockades and provocation from the Gardai. The police have bruised many, arrested some and taunted and insulted all. He concluded: ‘They’re mangling the democratic process, and we’re not having it.’ Other speakers included Phillip Ikurusi, Niger Delta activist. He listed off Shell production locations around the world, and both their repeated pollution of the environment and their manipulation of governments on the one hand, and regular local protest and confrontation on the other. ‘Is Shell credible‘, he asked. ‘No: they are only out for profit and leave the environment a mess.’ Kieran McNulty of Kerry Shell to Sea Group reminded the audience that what is happening today in Mayo could happen tomorrow in Kerry. Exxon have found oil off the Kerry coast and they will want to refine it somewhere inland. If Shell succeed in the North West it will be well noted by Exxon in the South and Kerry will soon have its own corporate and environmental nightmare. He also stressed how in Norway the public ownership of oil and gas reserves benefited the whole community and not just private interests.

Posted Date: 
30 October 2006 - 6:02pm