"The government has relinquished control over the offshore areas of our industry. Norway was tough regarding oil companies from the start. You now have an almost embarrassingly large pension fund. The situation for Irish communities, however, is as in Ogoniland in Nigeria - oil is a curse,”
The Irish Times
Tuesday 25th Sep. 07
Opponents of the Corrib gas onshore pipeline in north Mayo have returned letters sent out to landowners by consultants for Shell E&P Ireland.
The letters invited landowners and other residents to view three proposed "corridors" for a modified onshore pipeline route, identified by RPS consultants. The shortlist of corridors was published last week.
John Monaghan, spokesman for the Shell to Sea campaign in Erris, said that the letters had been "randomly sent out to households in the vicinity of Sruth Fada Conn (Sruwaddacon Bay) - the estuary targeted by Shell's consultants as the location for the planned upstream pipeline".
The letters were being returned as there had been no "true consultation" and the consultants were "effectively notifying people of the decision to force a pipeline through Kilcommon parish", Mr Monaghan said.
"There is no community consent for an expanding refinery complex in Erris. There is no community consent for a raw-gas pipeline. There is no community consent for the Corrib gas project," he added.
PJ Rudden, RPS director, said that his company had received phone calls from landowners "who say they are being intimidated into returning our letters to us".
"This is very regrettable and counter-productive," Mr Rudden said.
"We are continuing to consult with landowners and all the stakeholders on the pipeline. It will be some months yet before we make a decision on the final recommended route."
In a separate development, residents of Pollathomas village on the Sruwaddacon estuary say they were not consulted or notified of work on proposed pipeline routes, and have expressed fears about further landslides in the area as a result of any such work.
A number of houses and part of the graveyard were hit by a landslide from Dooncarton village through Pollathomas four years ago this month.
© 2007 The Irish Times