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RPS letters returned in protest

RPS, the consultants employed to find an alternative route for the onshore section of the Corrib gas pipeline, claim landowners along the proposed new routes have been intimidated into returning letters sent to them by RPS. Yesterday (Monday) afternoon, up to 60 letters sent by RPS to landowners were returned to their offices in Belmullet, in protest at the perceived lack of consultation by RPS with them. The letters, highlighting three alternative routes for the pipeline, were sent to landowners last week, but some feel that their concerns over the pipeline were not taken into consideration by RPS during the consultation process earlier this year. However, in a statement released by RPS director, PJ Rudden, he claimed that they have received phone calls from landowners who say they are being intimidated into returning the letters. He said this was ‘regrettable’ and ‘counter-productive’ and they would continue to consult with landowners and the stakeholders along the pipeline. In response to the allegation of intimidation, John Monaghan, spokesperson for Shell to Sea, told The Mayo News it was a ‘cheap slur’ and totally rejected it. He said people handed in their letters of their own free will, and added that they may have to take legal action over the allegations. “We reject that allegation out of hand and if that is their public line we may have to take legal action on it. “We had women and children here today coming down to RPS to show their displeasure and nobody intimidated them into coming down. If they had a complaint I would recommend they take it up with the Gardaí but to make a slur like that is ridiculous. “Up to 50 or 60 people at the most turned up this afternoon and we handed in 60 letters sent by the local community. Some people who haven’t received correspondence from RPS but who would be affected by the proposed pipeline routes, have written and signed their own letters. People offered to get involved and they feel very strongly that they have been sidelined on this consultation process,” he said.
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Posted Date: 
25 September 2007 - 2:56pm