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Is Shell's Corrib Gas project good for the local community? An opportunity to have your views heard

The Irish Times ran an on-line poll entitled "Is Shell's Corrib Gas project good for the local community?" on 22/10/07

Here are the results and comments:
Is Shell's Corrib Gas project good for the local community?

16% YES 84% NO

The Irish Times/ head2head is a forum for people who wish to express their views on issues of topical interest.


Maura Harrington says local benefits are exaggerated and far outweighed by the costs to the environment and democracy. Rossport, in the noble barony of Erris, is a global village. Its current vicissitudes mirror the dilemmas facing the planet at the beginning of the 21st century: peak oil and what Al Gore calls "reclaiming the integrity of democracy". Both of these have played out in Erris on a daily basis in a community-led campaign, now in its eight year. The response to what was originally considered a fait accompli - building a gas refinery in a bog before the locals got their heads around complicated stuff - has been turned into a display of local commitment and competence which exposes how thin is the veneer of citizen protection in Ireland today.
It is standard Big Oil spin to talk in terms of "local benefit", when the bottom line for all such corporations - in this instance Royal Dutch Shell - is the maximisation of shareholder profit. Shell makes a conservative €2 million profit per hour, 24/7. To talk therefore of "benefits" of €1 million here, or €20 million there, is insulting when it is looked at in terms of one or 10 hours of Shell profit in any one year.
The current Shell proposal that landowners along the as-yet undefined raw gas pipeline route be paid €300,000 over 15 years may seem an acceptable sum to many readers and may, indeed, confirm the view of some that this is simply a case of "farmers holding out for more money".
Both views miss the point, because in Rossport, Dooncarton/Glengad and Pullathomas (the scene of major landslides in 2003) - in fact all the villages in the parish of Kilcommon - there exists an intelligently informed resolve that the project as proposed is unacceptable. This resolve is attested by over 80 per cent of parish inhabitants willingly signing a petition to that effect.
Discussion on "benefits" in relation to a proposed project such as Corrib often ignores the intangible assets - clean air, clean water, clean soil - upon which no economic value is set, obviating the possibility of a proper cost/benefit analysis.
Erris, the same size as Co Louth, has one source for its regional water supply. The Ballinaboy River provides 27 per cent of the water catchment of Carrowmore Lake, a shallow, spring-fed lake which is one of only six in the country. Scotland, a country with a long history of oil/gas development, precludes the building of refineries within the catchment of any regional water supply.
Air quality in Erris is pristine; small farms in Erris practised sustainability before it became a buzzword. Broadhaven Bay is home to the widest variety of cetaceans recorded in Irish waters, together with, at last count, 58 species of fish.
Sruwaddacon is a place of divine beauty. There are cliffs higher than Moher, beaches and nature trails to equal the best. In other words, Erris is a natural resource in its own right - ironically, through decades of State neglect, it is now ideally poised to answer the deep-felt need of so many who seek rest and refuge from an often soul-numbing existence in places "developed" past the point of human ease.
Shell has an execrable record of dealing with its fence-line communities. The Niger Delta communities have been ecologically despoiled by Shell's 50-year presence in their midst. In Erris, we feel a particular empathy with the Ogoni - once small farmers and fishermen as many in Erris are - now denizens of a destroyed land. They and communities in Durban, Curacao, the Philippines, Louisiana - all speaking from bitter experience - tell those who are willing to listen of the difference between Shell rhetoric and Shell reality.
In Erris, there is support for the proposed project from the usual quarters, the Chamber of Commerce, the golf club, local party politicians and anybody who is currently making a few bob. The myth of 300 local employees is just that. The figure can only be arrived at by adding those who are already employed by, for example, local quarries delivering product onsite and others who deliver or serve onsite. Many, if not most, of the Erris-based security staff work a three-day week and sign on for the other three days. The much-heralded short-term construction figure of 700 would include a majority of specialised crews from outside the area. In Rossport in 2005, the safety notices were in Italian, not Irish.
The proposed Corrib project will benefit communities countrywide when Shell folds its tent and goes quietly into the good night. The Rossport Five and the Shell to Sea campaign have done the State some service. The communities of Erris have established the principle of community consent, which will not be imposed upon for profit or subverted for a pittance.
Maura Harrington lives and teaches in Erris and has campaigned against the Shell project since 2000


Pádraig Cosgrove says the project is bringing back life to Erris villages long drained of people and jobs.
Last Sunday, the cooling tower of the ESB's redundant Bellacorick power station was demolished in spectacular fashion. Just as the most famous landmark in Erris was tumbling to the ground, less than 15km (9.5) away another major energy project is rising out of the bog at Bellanaboy.
Here in Erris, the west at last is truly awake. For the past 160 years, this region has been a net exporter of labour to practically every country in the world. Now a small part of the Celtic Tiger construction boom has come to this northwesterly tip of Ireland.
Erris is experiencing its first major inward investment since electricity was brought to north Mayo in the 1950s. The memory of rural electrification for me is very faint and distant, but I do remember that at the time a lot of the old people were worried that it was not safe and would cause house fires. There were even some altercations with gardaí. Perhaps some things never change! When the linemen arrived, and stayed in the area, people saw the economic boost and the jobs it created.
Many people reading this are under the misconception that everyone in north Mayo is against the Corrib gas project and that, within the local community, it has no support. Nothing could be further from the truth. In my estimation, well over 350 families in the Erris region are directly benefiting through a weekly wage from the construction of the gas terminal in Bellanaboy.
Combined with this, the Corrib gas promoters have also invested money in the community by sponsoring a large number of community events for between €2,000 and €10,000 over the years. This year, 10 students from the four local secondary schools receive bursaries of €4,000 each every year for the duration of their degrees, and 10 more will join them up to 2009, when the scheme will be reviewed. Last month, Belmullet GAA club received €150,000 for development of its grounds. An advisory panel has been established which will assist with the establishment of the Corrib Gas Community Investment fund. This level of corporate social investment is unheard of around here, and will probably never be seen again.
At present, some 450 people are employed directly on the building of the gas terminal. That number is expected to reach over 700 early in 2008. The gas project currently brings in some €2 million per week to the local economy. The 100 permanent jobs that will be created by Corrib Gas in Erris will have the same impact in our community as Google is creating in Dublin. High-net-value jobs have a ripple effect and not only does it bring in more money to the local economy but it also introduces and keeps families here. It will help us keep our student numbers up in the local primary schools and thereby hold onto valuable teachers and keep our economy alive.
I believe that while our hotels and pubs have seen increased business from the economic activity in the area, there has been a cost. The constant pictures and media coverage of protests and the continued exaggeration of local involvement in these protests send out a negative image of the region and have damaged a fledgling tourist destination in an area with many great natural amenities.
Every day, a long string of cars and vans with MO registration plates hum along the road outside my house on their way to and from work at the Bellanaboy gas terminal site. I am no longer a resident of an isolated community, whose workers were obliged to travel away from their homes on a Sunday night and be away all week at work in Galway and Dublin. Now, our young people have jobs locally and many people are returning from abroad in the hope of getting work. After 160 years, private enterprise has seen fit to make an investment in the area, and we should be seen to welcome that investment in the hope that other companies in other industries will look to move here.
No town or region in Ireland would refuse this and the people of Erris are no different. Given last May's election results, and that recent protests have relied on bussed-in students from Galway, Cork, Dublin and Belfast, topped with a large sprinkling of English eco-warriors, the argument over community consent is well and truly over.
While I acknowledge that a group is against the gas project in any form, whether at sea or on land, the majority of local people are voting with their feet. Having work on your doorstep is a given in Dublin; here in Erris it is a miracle. We will pray the miracle continues for the 15 to 20 years that Corrib gas is flowing ashore.
Pádraig Cosgrove lives in Bangor Erris, near the proposed gas terminal, and is chairman of the Pro Gas Mayo Group


Your Reaction:

Why would Shell feel the need to give ahem 'funds'to local groups if they felt this prject was 100% safe? shortsighted locals are delighted to see these small bribes coming their way. The entire barony of Erris will not see one milligram of refined gas, merely raw pollutants. Towns in Mayo outside of Erris will get a clean natural fuel delivered to their doors without the nasty side-effects. Look at long term benefits - there are none for the local community. We will instead be left with a broken community with higher levels of disease than any other part of the country. Forget Shell's PR spin. Read the facts, they're not pretty John United States
Maura Harrington's article fails to mention safety of local people which I thought was the main issue. She concentrates on the economic effects on the local area. (ps. was this the same lady who was reluctant to explain why she was out protesting when she should have been teaching at school?) IJD Ireland
Nothing wrong with gas or jobs per sae - just process it off shore where there's no risk to life and limb and pay some tax back for it!!krossie Ireland
The Corrib gas could have been one of the best things to happen Mayo in a long time. Instead we have the current morass, a mix of the worst of corporate expedience and (to quote your editorial following last November's baton charge of peaceful protestors) "abject government incompetence". Let gas finds off Mayo be treated the same way as those off Cork. Finbar Cafferkey Ireland
Shell's Corrib Gas Project is fueling the corporate takeover of Ireland. We see time and time again the corruption which is supported and implemented by the governments that the Irish people elect but cannot question. Few benefit and many suffer greatly from outrageous projects like the one on the beautiful (and currently environmentally safe and clean) North West coast of County Mayo. Orla Treacy Ireland
This development is being opposed by a small number of locals and a number of outsiders who travel the country opposing anything they can! The development of Gas off the West Coast is essential and welcome progress. I hope it proceeds without delay John Paul Feeley Ireland
shell to sea danny byrne Ireland
no richard manton Ireland
Corporate Social investment is absolutley undemocratic, it puts the welfare of communities in the hands of an unaccountable Corporation. The proper procedure for social investment is for the government to tax the profits and charge for access to natural resources thereafter the resource wealth can be distributed through a democratic process involving the exchequer which exists for this purpose. The Erris peninsula's economic future lies in eco tourism, fishing trips organic fam stays walking holidays irish language courses not in decimating landscape for a short term project. Malaysian Borneo is full of Deserted shopping centres with empty shops and crumbling infrastructure which are the aftermat of a short lived oil boom. Imagine Erris in twenty years after the few scraps of plamas money is long forgotten.Shell to Sea or build it on an island and renegotiate the profits. Sarah Ireland
Pardaig sets out the arguments from a bread and butter viewpoint,the people who do not have to go to England for work like me. Maura is the utopian type who has a good job and wants to preserve the scenery for the few James United Kingdom

The local community gains nothing from this project and risks losing the advantages of a pristine maritime environment, among the best quality Atlantic waters anywhere. Why does the government not unilaterally change the terms, make sure Ireland profits, and let Shell go elsewhere if they don't like it. eon o'mongain Ireland
Of course it's good for the local community! Long enough the people of Erris have lived on the scraps from the bigger towns like Ballina and Castlebar. Finally young and old can work in Erris and not have to leave the Barony for a decent wage. If groups like Shell to Sea and other used their energy for something pro-active and positive like the road to Castlebar or other worthy causes then something may be achieved at the end of all this but they can't see they are fighting a losing battle. D Ireland
This is short sighted development done without consultation or respect. Furthermore it threatens community, culture, heritage and the environment whilst setting a terrible precedent for Irish democracy and corporate involvement. Perhaps the biggest issue is the wholesale 'gas giveaway' whereby Shell, Statoil and Marathon benefit more than the Irish people. A shocking scandal that will do doubt be resisted for years to come. J. Cassidy Ireland
Is this more of biting the hand that feeds you. Surely these "anti establishment, no runways, no roads and now no cleanest fossil fuel in the world briagdes" cannot be allowed to hold the whole country to ransom. We need natural gas and given that ireland cannot export gas who cares if the state or private industry builds the pipeline. Gerry United States
No it isnt good. Its polluting the local water supply, putting locals lives at risk and wont provide jobs for the local community as the work will be highly specialised and so employees will be broufght in from elsewhere. And as Shell will get all the profits, the irish people gain nothing from it, unlike if it was state owned. Kiran Ireland
the pawning off of a national resource and asset by the current government is a disgrace. Though initially this may be viewed as a "west" of Ireland concern. It is a National and another example of sell out by Government to Private Interests. Why am I not surprised? John Ryan Ireland
Shell should go to sea Joe Moore Ireland
The profits are taken out of the country. The gas is taken out of the country. The pipelines are scheduled to be laid in locations that would endanger both residents and marine life. Garda have attacked peaceful demonstrators. The project has been greased by corruption in high places. *** In what way hasn't Shell's Corrib Gas project been bad for the local community? doug Ireland
It is disgraceful that the government is supporting an oil multinational with a poor record in respecting human and civil rights against a small rural community and is prepared to use the full resources of the state in an attempt to subdue that community. Shell to Sea now! John Jefferies Ireland
That proposed project is based on lies, and dangerous lies at that. The locals are not opposed to the gas being brought in. It's the dangerous and polluting refinery that should not be located in Erris. Shell just want to save money, and bombard us with spin. Tim Ireland
Shell's Corrib Gas project isn't good for Ireland, never mind the local community. Ignore TDs and investigate the facts: the Irish Exchequer gets NOTHING from the sale of the gas - as Fintan O'Toole & many others point out - but the Norwegian gov does! Sure, there will be a few jobs for foreign technical staff in Rossport but minimal benefits to the local community. These crumbs are what the gov refers to when it says Ireland will benefit from the project but they're tiny compared to what we've given away. The 'reason' they gave an enormous gas field away for nothing is ( they say ) 'because we used to charge too much'. If you ran a chipper like that, your ass would be grass before closing time. michael collier Ireland
I have made many visits to Rossport over the past 2 years and was aiso honoured to take part in the walk from Rossport to Dublin by members of the local community and shell to sea campaigners in 2006 and have spent as much time as possible listening and learning from Erris people and people living next to shell around the globe. From this perspective I have to challenge Pádraig Cosgrove's mis information. Firstly many people seem to be taking the 'devils silver' in order to be able to leave the area once the refinery is built, and who can blame them ! Because secondly it is quite evident that Pádraig has no idea at all of the scale of this monster or the kind of environmental devestation it will be capable of, and obviously has not listened to people who live close to Shells operations world wide. ( oil follows gas and we are talking a huge filthy refinery if the community of Rossport survive the high pressure raw gas experiment ) Thirdly of couse Shell is offering money to any one who will take it, that is how they opperate however many local people inspite of great need have courageously refused to be bribed ! Lastly Maura is absolutly right to highlight the issue of community consent and yes the community of Rossport has been nothing short of heroic in its 7 year fight for the upholding of this principle that will be for the benefit of future communities on the west coast caught up in gas and oil wars and indeed every community in the country. Elinor Rivers Ireland
The people of Erris gave their answer during the General Election when they refused to re-elect Dr. Jerry Cowley who had campaigned against Shell day in and day out. Trevor Ireland
Both sides of the argument cite the area's natural beauty and its value to tourism but only one side is compatible with eco-tourism. Fossil fuel extraction is detrimental to natural beauty and biodiversity whichever way you look at it. Cosgrove is trying to have it both ways. if he really wants to restore life to Erris he should be looking at the real wealth of the area and how to enhance it not how to exploit it. John Baker Ireland
The claims for numbers to be employed are greatly exagerated by the Pro Shell Lobby. John Ryan Ireland
how can the siting of a oil and gas refinery in the catchment area of the only drinking water supply for ten thousand people be good for the commmunity.espicaly when the international codes of pratice for the siting of oil and gas refinerys state (pd8010)that this should not happen. clement irwin Ireland
This project is no good for this area as the pollution alone will destroy this pristine area.This is an unprecedented project, we are the guinea pigs.It will be impossible for us to live here.How can one live with a constant threat of a gas explosion?It is a basic human right that everyone should be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water.Why is this being taken away from us? Siobhan in Erris Ireland
All offers from Shell must be considered with their past treatment of local communities and thus one word of caution: Nigeria. Ciaran Walsh Ireland
the corrib gas has hurt many people i had to go to australia as our family home is devalued my parents cannot live there cold venting and raw gas will kill them it is prossed at sea here teresairwin Australia
I would love to go home and find ajob there. Those refuseniks are trying to destroy and stop progress and keep the place as a reserve for themselves. I had to emigrate from ireland 20 years ago Bridie Australia
Pádraig Cosgrove addresses none of the concerns regarding the safety or environmental sustainability of the Corrib gas project in it current form: the unsuitability of the land for a refinery site and for the laying of a pipelne; the gas emissions; the pollution of the drinking water supply; the effect on wildlife and fisheries; the likelihood of an explosion. Instead he uses utterly irrelevant arguments: that there were reservations about rural electrification (so what?); that investment has been lacking in the past (again, so what: you we can't make up for such a lack by making inappropriate investments today). As for employment, a safe and environmentally sound project would also provide jobs. This would be better than bending the knee in welcome to those offering employment in an act of destruction. And again, so what if a few donations are made to local worthy causes? This does not make the project more acceptable and will be rightly seen by many as a crude attempt to buy people's sympathies. Hilariously, Mr Cosgrove says that the protests are harming tourism. What could be more damaging to tourism than a dangerous pipeline and a polluting refinery? So rather than kneeling down hoping the master will throw a few crumbs at us, let's sit down with our neighbours and work out how we can find prosperity in a responsible and humane way. Dónall Ó Mearáin Germany
how can bieng assalted by gardai every day be good for a community. paddy paddy cosgrove United Kingdom
Absolutely not. It poses a threat for the local drinking water, a threat to the natural wildlife habitat, is to be located in a Special Marine Area of Conservation. It will not create long term employment for locals. ImeldaGormally Ireland
Shell is building a gas refinery on an unstable bog land with emissions that will affect the regional water supply - Carrowmore Lake. The refinery will be fed by an experimental high-pressure pipeline never before used anywhere. Every other refinery with this kind of gas source is built offshore with far fewer threats to safety. Why not Corrib? Answer: Because Shell plans to expand the refinery to accommodate other gas fields. This is a recipe for human catastrophe and environmental disaster. Meanwhile, Irish taxpayers get nothing for this give-away of natural resources while paying full market price for the gas. Dennis Desmond Ireland
This is not good for the community. Seamus Ó Mongain Ireland
Of course its good for the local community, it will bring jobs, prosperity, new developments, new communities and overall a new lease of life to the overall community not to mention the benefit to local economy. At the end of the days it what the local people think that counts. Sorcha Leonard Ireland
The gas terminal is discreetly tucked away behind a forest and its visual impact on the region is practically non existent. the environmental arguments have all been trashed out and the average person believes that it will have no negative impact on the people of erris other than the postives of giving the local young people the opportunity to live and work at home. Gemma McGreevy Ireland
To quote An Bord Pleanála Senior Planning Inspector Kevin Moore: " It is my submission that the proposed development of a large gas processing terminal at this rural, scenic and unserviced area on a bogland hill some 8 kilometres inland from the...landfall location, with all its site difficulties, public safety concerns, adverse visual, ecological and traffic impacts...defies any rational understanding of the word 'sustainability'." So what has changed? Precisely nothing. This project, which has proceeded with indecent haste and possibly illegally, is a disgraceful example of how short term vested interests can take precidence over environmental and social considerations. Benefits to the community? Padraig Cosgrove may mean well but his short sighted view of what constitutes a 'benefit' sounds uncannily like something from a Fianna Fáil party political broadcast. What does he mean 'permanent' jobs? The gas field will be gone after 15 years of extraction, depleted to the point of being uneconomical and Ballinaboy will be a rusting monument which will eventually fall to the demolition teams. So how is that permanent? Sure the gas is still worth having, but what sense in destroying the fabric of a rural area when alternative sites are available in existing degraded or industrial landscapes. Does Ireland value nothing of its rural heritage? It has nothing to do with whether or not Corrib gas comes ashore in Mayo that the Erris region has suffered depopulation and neglect. Historically there are many reasons but one could argue that in recent years the decline of places like Erris is the direct result of Government policy which has focussed on developing the Greater Dublin area at the expense of the peripheral parts of Ireland. So now we have this insane plan to build a gas refinery in a bog, within the catchment area of the principal water supply to the whole area and suddenly it is the salvation of the whole area. Could we have a reality check please? It is NOT too late to stop this project. For me, the saddest thing is that the one party which I would have assumed could be counted on to protect Ireland's heritage and natural environment - namely the Greens - now appear to be on the wrong side of the fence. Andy Wilson Sustainability Magazine Andy Wilson Ireland
Shell to Sea! Des Ireland
New skills are being acquired and small businesses are gaining new technology and new staff and to mention an increase in overall business to raise there families with. No town or region in Ireland would refuse this prosperity and the people of Erris are no different. Seamus O'Mhurchu Ireland

It's not even a good deal for Ireland. We get no royalties or taxes. It doesn't provide a lot of extra long term jobs. It gives some extra business to existing builders, and some extra toxins and dangers on a long term basis to the locals. Why be grateful for Shell's token crumbs when it's our gas that Fianna Fail gave away in the first place? Joe McGellan Ireland
I agree with everything Maura Harrington has to say. I am not surprised by Shells behavour. Their appalling reputauion on human rights and enviormental issues preceeds them. I have gained hugh respect for the integrity of the Rossport people and their fellow campaigners as it requires massive courage, committment and resilence for ordinary people to stand up to a powerful multinational company. nuala irwin Ireland
How can it be good for a comunity when it's citizens are beaten off the public highway by gardai at the behest of a foreign mulitnational? The government should extract the oil for the Irish people and send Shell home. Pat Harrold Ireland
i operate the nearest supermarket and filling station to the proposed termanal. this project is now ongoing for 2 years. its benifits to our local community are nil financally, and untruths about what this area is supposed to gain are all spin .our voice nationally cannot be heard anymore because shell just employs anyone with infulance in the wider community to silance the true picture. john healy Ireland
Shell (as golbal player) is acting against the up-to-date zeitgeist. Shell has an altrnative: they could save the environment in raffinating the oil on sea, instead of building a pipeline and ercting a terminal. Marcus Michallik Germany
Shell's record on things like health & safety, human rights, the environment, business ethics, community relations, species protection, plant emissions, poisonous leaks, chemical spills, worker safety etc. etc. etc. is typical of the hydrocarbon industry... poor poor poor. Those who lend their blind support to these projects usually have a vested financial interest. Those who stand up and protect their community are usually ridiculed and ignored. Who stands to gain if this project proceeds as planned? And what does Ireland lose if those who stand up fail? John Monaghan Ireland
Attacking a community is never good for it. Removing the rights and resources of Irish citizens and giving them to a foreign multinational for no perceived gain is not an act that that could ever be imagined as beneficial. The hypocrisy practiced is stunning. For example: we recently witnessed Mayo County Council, launch an injunctive move on the Rossport Solidarity Camp through the Court, on the pretence of protecting the SAC (special area of conservation) and a bare few weeks after the campers have been ordered to leave and to stop protecting this SAC, Shell has been allowed to move into the very same SAC with drilling equipment. They even built a road through the SAC, without even a hint of planning permission. Despite the lack of any benefit due from giving our natural resources to a non-indigenous body, which is quite illegal under UN law and Irish law (our government afterall, are only stewards of our resources, not the owners), our supposed representatives still spin that somehow the people of Ireland will be entitled to the Gas. They never once point out that Ireland will have to buy its own gas and that under normal practice, he who is willing to pay the most will get the product (it's an international market afterall). My focus however is not on who will get the gas or on who will be entitled to it. My focus is on our representatives. I want to know who it is that they actually represent. I won't even go into the fact that the State has supplied to Shell a private police force for free to protect the interests it has ripped from its citizens and given to Shell, to the detriment of law and order elsewhere in the country and indeed to instigate and sustain lawlessness in Rossport itself. Why is the Irish Times absent from Rossport? Where is the voice of the people when we need it? Seán Ryan Ireland
I have been coming to this area as a tourist for 12 years. It is a shame what is done now to the environment. As a biologist I am very much conserned about the effects the works there have already on every living creature. Thats the way the Irish Government will make tourists stay away. Think about the effects on the local B&Bs, Hotels, Restaurants etc. Brigitte Oswald Germany
- indignant native- Noble element, of course, in Erris, and in particular lonesomeness among the community of local people who have held to the "integrity of democracy" - and, may I add, Maura, to the integrity of the land itself, and that land's inviolate beauty - the courage the land inspires in its own people of innate and earthed nobility - a people of great courage and principle. On the other, darker, more sinister side of the coin - literally, coin, coins in their thoiusands - there are, as always, those "sows" who will "eat their own farrow" - the petty pols and golfing shoneens, and -God help us - there is alive and well in those huxters the proof positive that "education", not to mention enlightenment, are wasted, are comodified to the mere hundreds and thousands of units of currency where the real story should be told in iterms of honest values and principle. - And this alongside the millions and billions that is the only reality of the global whoremasters of exploitation. Proponents of blatant huxterism are a true disgrace to the people who would once depend on them for the humble courtesy and kindness of neighbourly support, as well as some enlightened represntation - true political representation. - As ever, the "me fein" element of the "quick buck - and to hell with the consequences" short-sighted stunted point of view are misnomered as a "pro-gas" cabal. And yet, the "C of Cs", et al, the burgers and beggars on horseback are dim enough to under-estimate the strength and withstanding of real honest purpose. And the intelligence of such real heroes recognised already in the larger caring world. - "Fingers in a greasy till...." is the real story, of course, and along with the sow eating her own farrow and the huxterism, it is as though we never had a Yeats or a Joyce or that "Terrible Beauty" writ clear for us in our own noble truth-telling tradition. - Was there ever more need for integrity? - of democracy, of land, of neighbors? - in light of the tragedy of selling out and of utter ruin. - Of course, the kickbacks, brown envelopes - huxterism of small minds, the lot of it, are not the consequence of what is good and truly sacred in the "pro-gas" bunch; but, like the rot at the core of greed, they are personified illiteracy in the language of what is good, and the utter putrification of what is bad and wrong for the people and the place. To what is blessed and real and good, let each of us hold high a flame of intelligence and bury in hell this sell-out exercise of gombeen discredited politicans Is mise le moran meas dilis, Ama Ni Chiariain Ama Carey United States
save the nature julia magr Germany

Unless we have a root and branch change in national environmental policy we have no choice but to maximise the natural resourses at our disposal. We are one of the most outwardly dependent countries in the world in imported energy and the Corrib gas project is one of the few strategic options we have to tackle this. This issue has obviously become entrenched and I hope all concerned will take a step back in time and look at the bigger national picture. The protest at this stage appears to failing to meet its objective. I hope both sides will head back down the road of mediation again. Ciaran Ireland
I often wonder why p cosgrove is so in favour of damaging our area?he has no connection with the parish whatsoever! shell must be laughing to have such clowns doing the spin for them!! MICHAEL COYLE Ireland
shell's project has turned erris into a police state.people are harassed and have their cars searched on their way to have split the community and this has caused damage for generations to come pak coyle Ireland
shell to sea mairead corduff Ireland
As part of the local community but working away at present it would be nice to have the oppurtinuty to return one day to live in the area. Unfortunately, the enviromental and issues retating to commercial gas refinery will totally destroy the area. Mr Paddy Cosgrove talkes about the jobs which will only be 50 if the projects succeeds in obtaining full planning and most of these jobs will be specialist and filled by people from outside the area. Mr Cosgrove should ask what the effect on the value of his property will be in say 5-10 years if this project goes ahead and if this short term gain is really going to be a gain in the long term. The Gas should be refined at sea and I beleive the only issues to doing this is cost. As Shell is getting the Gas for Free surely they can spend a little more. Anne Coyle Ireland
Get the Shell outta here! Dermot Quinlan Ireland
shell to sea elaine murphy Ireland
Lets get one thing straight- shell are not a charity organization, the Shell Corrib gas project is good for nobody but shell, all we get are a few short term jobs and what do we get in return?? I live in what I believe to be a beautiful and unspoilt area of Erris,Im proud of the area and most of the people who live there, it is what I call home and what hundreds like me call home so you'll have to forgive me for feeling so strongly about it. Imagine if you will, being told "we're putting a pipe line near your house, we can¿t guarantee that its safe but we think it should be ok". Would you feel safe living in that house- the very place where we and our families should feel at our safest! Houses were built for protection and our protection or right to protection is being taken away from us! Next up we have the terminal/refinery itself- what a terrible eyesore at best-we're being told its only a terminal but what happens when the gas runs out and all that¿s left is oil? Is shell just going to walk away and leave the oil after them? everyone knows that¿s not going to happen so what¿s a bad story for the area today will become much worse tomorrow with plums of smoke chocking us, chocking wildlife, chocking the parish of kilcommon, grass will not grow and where it does animals that eat it will get sick! farming is still the main income for people in kilcommon, what are all these people going to do when if becomes impossible to farm, impossible to earn and income, impossible to live in the area. I work away from home like hundreds more from the area, that is my choice, I go home most weekends and it refreshes me. What happens when I can¿t go home? How sad that a multinational company like shell can have such a terrible influence on our future! Regards Jimmy Coyle jimmy coyle Ireland
I have been watching the events in rossport unfold over the past six years or so and think it is an absolute disgrace the way shell have forced themselves upon the local community backed by an garda siochanna. On several occasions i have seen people peacefully protesting to the shell corrib gas project being beaten attacked and thrown to the ground by members of the gardai who are blatently taking sides with shell. An Garda Siochanna should be ashamed of thenselves and brought to task. Brendan Carney Brendan Carney Ireland
Paddy Cosgrove article (22nd October) advocates jobs at any cost. He attempts to muster together the so called positive economic benefits of the on-shore refinery amount to precious little when compared to what is being put at risk: the destruction of a pristine environment, the health and safety of the local community, not to mention our natural resources being given away for practically nothing. Mr Cosgrove is absolutely correct in that the North West for far too long has been economically neglected. But the responsibility for this economic neglect falls at the feet of Government. It is naïve to think that Shell a large multinational company will come to North Mayo¿s economic rescue. As has been patently demonstrated by Shell¿s determination so-far not to opt for the more expensive but safer option for the local community to refine the gas at sea, maximising profit is their primary concern and not the local community. The tax payer has already footed a bill of eight million euro thus far for the Gardi presence at the on-shore terminal. Imagine how else this money could have been spent to benefit North Mayo: creation of jobs; a new community centre; or road repair? The local community can only now hope that Eamon Ryan as Minister for Natural Resources will intervene to put an end to this madness. Thomas McAndrew Ireland
Why are there no comments to display? Obviously people have a lot of opinions on this subject Brendan Carney Ireland
Shell is following on from where the Irish government started - treating the people of Mayo and of Ireland like idiots, and it's about time they stopped getting away with it. It's saying something when they have to buy the support of local communities by their various sponsorship 'projects'. I wonder how long that will last if they finally get what they want. Wendy Lewis Ireland
Erris has nothin to gain from this. I really cannot understand why shell cannot process this gas out at sea. Its not like they don't have any money, and will gain what they spend in 1 or 2 hours anyway. They have lied and cheated to get where they are and they will continue to do so if we dont stand up to them. People like Paddy Cozgrove only see money signs through their eyes, open them and see whats really goin on. It wont be about money when all of us, our kids and grandkids suffer from the pollution. We need to stand as one and beat. Keep the fight up and we WILL suceed. Shell to sea supporter Ireland
Maura is typical of people who have their set salary and a lot on time on her hands. She is not in touch with the ordinary people who have to look for work and keep bread on the table for their children. Shell is the greatest thing for the country and i hope her bringing in for people who who have nothing else to do with their time to demonstrate does not put companys off invesrting in other projects in Ireland Ray Ireland
why has FF just given away our natural resources? oh i forgot, brown envelopes. morgor Vatican City State (Holy See)
Shell is bringing jobs to the local community?? How many people skilled in construction/engineering/gas refining do you think are currently looking for work, who are from the Erris area? The only jobs will be taken by outside contractors. I have nothing against immigrant labour, I am against this project going ahead in its current format. Kevin Collins Ireland
Shell to Sea its as simple as that!!!!!!! smug Bertie Ahern driving around in his Mercedes!! people of IRELAND wake up and unite together Louise Doyle Ireland
Shell to sea, it couldn't be more simple! Lena Ireland
I am sick of the protestors and whingers.Let them go to Holland and elsewhere,and there are gas pipes everywhere-wet and treated. This reminds me of stone age man in Rossport.There is no sense of outrage here about the cost of policing those rabble. John Ireland
The minority of locals that are for the gas are narrow minded people who do not see what this area has to offer in terms of the tourism industry. there are no shortage of jobs in the erris area. if shell manage to keep buying the government this area will turn into an industrial wasteland. shell to sea s.q Ireland
So many people just talk about jobs or jobs at any cost. This is not looking at the totality of the situation and doesn't answer big quastions, like the plundering of the planets resources and poisoning of the environment by these corporate giants like Shell. When these organisations who answer to no-one are finished, there will be no communities, environment or jobs,only devastation - as the lady said in the previous comment. The future is in developing ecologcally sound tourism, and other locally based businesses and not becoming serfs to these organisations who will leave nothing only their mess in the aftermath. John Fitzgerald Ireland
I hope a safer and saner outcome can come out of this controversy. This is an out of place and dangerous development in its present form. All efforts should be directed to mitigating its impact and that is out at sea. brigid fitzgerald Ireland
The project would be good for the community if it was processed at sea. There would be more long term jobs and less pollution. In it's current form, it's dangerous, dirty, and requires heavy handed tactics AGAINST the community. Shell put Rossport under Siege. James Roberts Ireland
I am a young person from the Erris area. At the moment I work in Dublin but plan to move back home in the near future. It was when the Rosport 5 were sent to jail that myself and my father took an interest in finding out about shell. We found out that shell plans to bring untreated, raw gas into a refinery. In my opinion this is a deadly threat to life. The raw gas (which has no smell untill treated) is to be piped approx. seven miles inland, in front of peoples homes and close to the lake (the only source of drinking water in Erris.)We are all for the gas coming ashore and for the development of our area, as long as it is done proprely. AT SEA! Claire Ireland
What we are witnessing in County Mayo is quite simply tragic. The construction of a dangerous, high pressure pipeline that not alone lacks local consent- but is indeed a danger to the local einvironment. The Shell To Sea campaign has faced up to much of what the government has been able to throw at it, in the form of prison sentences and heavy handed policing on the rural roads of Mayo. Beyond the obvious issue of why any government would feel te need to give away such a large amount of a nations own natural resources, events in Mayo make us really wonder just who holds the real power in modern Ireland. It is undemocratic, and whoever benefits- it is not the people of Rossport, or indeed Ireland. D O Falluin Ireland
For more than 30 years I have been an enthusiastic visitor to Erris and its beautiful coastline, enjoying the glorious landscape and the best of fishing in the sea as well as in its lakes and rivers.The outragous plans and behaviour of SHELL INTERNATIONAL , should they succeed, will force me and many others to seek an environment that is not equally contaminated. AND: Who seriously believes that SHELL will remove all those buildings - including 20-foot foundations - after the alleged 15/20 years of exploitation??? Erris will then have a ¿lovely` concrete block in the midst of its most lovely scenery for our great-great-grandchildren to admire. How shortsighted can politicians be? Ulf Pape Germany
Of all the idiotic things our government has done in its long, long reign of stupidity and incompitence, this is without doubt the worst of the worst, and that really is an achivement. The fact that most people know little or nothing of the facts is typical of government policy concerning issues of extreme importance. If oil happened to be discovered off the coast of Dublin, or anywhere on the East Coast, the refinery would be so far out to sea in would be in England. Padddy Toye Ireland
Former councilor paraig cosgrave would appear to miss the point! Shorterm investment from a company such as shell who have devastated nearly every country they have invaded will provide short term gain in terms of investment. The longterm benifits are pollution to drinking water and the environment. Over 100 years of shell can prove this. Quiet definately No! jonathan Naughton Ireland
Shell's Corrib Gas Project is dividing the local community. It smacks of the old imperialist philosophy of "divide and conquer." Brian Hoban Ireland
It is ironic that one of the few remaining assets to survive in Mayo (and Ireland) from centuries of deprivation should now be in danger of destruction through the family jewels being pawned for a pittance, perhaps never to be redeemed. Those who oppose Shell plans are from all walks of life, with a common desire to keep this ancient, unspoilt place for all of us and the generations to follow not just for themselves. If that were not true many of them would be working for Shell now. Breda Mullins. Ireland
So many people just talk about jobs or jobs at any cost. This is not looking at the totality of the situation and doesn't answer big quastions, like the plundering of the planets resources and poisoning of the environment by these corporate giants like Shell. When these organisations who answer to no-one are finished, there will be no communities, environment or jobs,only devastation - as the lady said in the previous comment. The future is in developing ecologcally sound tourism, and other locally based businesses and not becoming serfs to these organisations who will leave nothing only their mess in the aftermath. John Fitzgerald Ireland
I hope a safer and saner outcome can come out of this controversy. This is an out of place and dangerous development in its present form. All efforts should be directed to mitigating its impact and that is out at sea. brigid fitzgerald Ireland
The project would be good for the community if it was processed at sea. There would be more long term jobs and less pollution. In it's current form, it's dangerous, dirty, and requires heavy handed tactics AGAINST the community. Shell put Rossport under Siege. James Roberts Ireland
I am a young person from the Erris area. At the moment I work in Dublin but plan to move back home in the near future. It was when the Rosport 5 were sent to jail that myself and my father took an interest in finding out about shell. We found out that shell plans to bring untreated, raw gas into a refinery. In my opinion this is a deadly threat to life. The raw gas (which has no smell untill treated) is to be piped approx. seven miles inland, in front of peoples homes and close to the lake (the only source of drinking water in Erris.)We are all for the gas coming ashore and for the development of our area, as long as it is done proprely. AT SEA! Claire Ireland
What we are witnessing in County Mayo is quite simply tragic. The construction of a dangerous, high pressure pipeline that not alone lacks local consent- but is indeed a danger to the local einvironment. The Shell To Sea campaign has faced up to much of what the government has been able to throw at it, in the form of prison sentences and heavy handed policing on the rural roads of Mayo. Beyond the obvious issue of why any government would feel te need to give away such a large amount of a nations own natural resources, events in Mayo make us really wonder just who holds the real power in modern Ireland. It is undemocratic, and whoever benefits- it is not the people of Rossport, or indeed Ireland. D O Falluin Ireland
For more than 30 years I have been an enthusiastic visitor to Erris and its beautiful coastline, enjoying the glorious landscape and the best of fishing in the sea as well as in its lakes and rivers.The outragous plans and behaviour of SHELL INTERNATIONAL , should they succeed, will force me and many others to seek an environment that is not equally contaminated. AND: Who seriously believes that SHELL will remove all those buildings - including 20-foot foundations - after the alleged 15/20 years of exploitation??? Erris will then have a ¿lovely` concrete block in the midst of its most lovely scenery for our great-great-grandchildren to admire. How shortsighted can politicians be? Ulf Pape Germany
Of all the idiotic things our government has done in its long, long reign of stupidity and incompitence, this is without doubt the worst of the worst, and that really is an achivement. The fact that most people know little or nothing of the facts is typical of government policy concerning issues of extreme importance. If oil happened to be discovered off the coast of Dublin, or anywhere on the East Coast, the refinery would be so far out to sea in would be in England. Padddy Toye Ireland
Former councilor paraig cosgrave would appear to miss the point! Shorterm investment from a company such as shell who have devastated nearly every country they have invaded will provide short term gain in terms of investment. The longterm benifits are pollution to drinking water and the environment. Over 100 years of shell can prove this. Quiet definately No! jonathan Naughton Ireland
Shell's Corrib Gas Project is dividing the local community. It smacks of the old imperialist philosophy of "divide and conquer." Brian Hoban Ireland
It is ironic that one of the few remaining assets to survive in Mayo (and Ireland) from centuries of deprivation should now be in danger of destruction through the family jewels being pawned for a pittance, perhaps never to be redeemed. Those who oppose Shell plans are from all walks of life, with a common desire to keep this ancient, unspoilt place for all of us and the generations to follow not just for themselves. If that were not true many of them would be working for Shell now. Breda Mullins. Ireland
The Corrib project is the best thing to come to Mayo in years, jobs, new roads, training - its a pity that some dont recognise something that could be of immense benefit to the area for years. I know my county would love to have it. Eoghan Ireland
(1)first of all i can see why pro shell people like IJD were ashamed to put their full names to their comments. (2)This goverment are the biggest sellout merchants in history. They have sold out on our natural resources (oil and gas),currency ( an independant currency),six counties (articless 2. and 3of our constitution), fishing (foregin fishing boats), farming (our farms are now run from Brussels),inviorment(incenerators, onshore oil refineries,land fill),Heritage (Tara),the feture of our youth (education, no schools), healthcare our eldery and sick,(not enough beds,consultants, hospitals and other front line staff)law and order(drug dealers now run the streets while the guards are beating up the old age pensoners at Ballinaboy, a murder a day is now the norm. If the Irish people get their natural resources back into national owenership then we will have enough money in the goverment coffers to give a bursaries to every school in the country Pat Cannon Ireland
The gas can be refined offshore, we have big seas in this part of the Atlantic,that's true but there are rigs in areas of the world which receive the same conditions. Alot of information we know about tsunamis has been recorded from rigs. Offshore workers receive danger money for their work and above all have the CHOICE to go out or not,the people of Rossport and Erris WOULD not.Every day would essentially be a risk to family,home and enviroment. Shell have the money and resources to refine the gas offshore,so what's the problem... How many jobs will be lost when the terminal is finished? Is this project going to give a longterm prosperous industry in Erris or will it be the guarantee through exploitation of our Natural Resources and large scale pollution that the Erris region will suffer a slow demise to a dirty,unhealthy area void of long term tourism and beauty.Who's going to fill in the potholes in Shell's roads in 25 years..our children? Carry on with the Corrib gas project,but refine it at sea..How would it be done if Shell's managing director had family in Rossport? Simon Ireland
Ray Burke and Bertie Ahern have given away natural resources that belong to the people of Ireland. Now we are aware of it through the brave spirit of the Rossport community. This issue affects us all, not just one community, and that is why the people of Ireland supported the Rossport 5, and continue to support the Shell 2 Sea campaign. This is not just a single issue about the environment& pollution, health & safety, or jobs at any price. It is about us reclaiming our rights and our democracy that the Irish government (including the Greens) and corporations are attempting to sweep aside. The whole world is watching. Shell 2 Sea! dette mc loughlin Ireland
Shell's investment, associated jobs, and local benefits is actively sustaining our local communities! without youth and attractive employment opportunities our communities will die. I¿m back working in my locality with indigenous and international companies to strictly defined Health, Safety & Environmental policies enforced at every aspect. I¿m confident I will help to deliver a safe sustainable development without any long term environmental impact in a sensitive environmental area. Without Corrib where would I be¿ Emigration or possibly working as a small rural farmer trying to scrap a living¿ or Working in my community in the knowledge economy developing a quality of life for me, my family and my community¿ Brendan Ireland
Remember Valdez, Alaska? This article was written 10 years after the spill (> ) By the way, Exxon has NEVER paid the community for their losses despite record profits-they still are appealing that judgment in court and with their money they can keep the courts busy for years. Syndi Holmes United States
This gas is dangerous. Shell have not revealed the full extent of the risk to the locality. Their record speaks for itself. roisin healy Ireland
The project currently is based upon an undecided route, a location that does not have the consent of 80% of the local parish, and health and safety standards that do not even reach the government commissioned independent report by Advantex. Democracy needs to be extended not destroyed for the sake of a corporate propagated myth. Tania O'Sullivan Ireland
The level of opposition to the project evident here is in stark contrast to the cosy pro-Shell consensus adopted by the mainstream media. I firmly believe that when the issues are put forward in an objective manner, the majority of people agree that the gas should be refined at sea - and, in the case of this poll, that the current project is causing massive damage to the local community and the magnificent environment. Dermot Looney Ireland
I'm Maura Harrington's brother and I spent 22 years as an emigrant from this country. That gives me the right to address this issue of local jobs and this is what I say: If there was no other work in Erris except Shell, I'd take off again in the morning. Over the past ten years we've had an unprecedented building boom in Erris including a 100-bedroom hotel and a lovely new civic centre. Neither I, nor any other Shell to Sea person was seen trying to oppose any of that, because it is proper, clean inrastructural development. The Refinery is not. It's providing bugger-all quality local employment and it never will, so please stop boring me with stories of emigration caused by our resistance to Shell. We don't leave on coffin ships any more. We can come and go to this country as we please. If this goes ahead, not only will we all have to emigrate, we'll have nowhere to come back to. Seán Harrington Ireland
10 pages of comments so far (9.00pm Wed 24th Oct). Is that the limit of comments allowed? Is there a record number of comments for Head2Head polls overall? Those in favour are by and large swayed by the short-term prospects of quick profit for the opportunistic few. They could not care less if the gold rush is short-lived and the ghost town aftermath is the long-term reality. The 700 hundred jobs referred to is merely the peak which will last only for several months. The average number of on-site jobs over the 2 year period of construction is closer to 300. After that only 50 local low-to-middle grade jobs (spread over 3 shifts) continue for 15 years. Ed Ireland
No and Erris will never benefit from it in the long term. and only for the shell to sea campainers and the rossport 5 shell would never giving any money to anyone or any local organiastions either.The biggest laugh of all is to see the local idiots excepting the little cheaques from a multi national company(shell is having a laugh really)its loose change to them angela Ireland
If Shell steamroll through and erect their blot on the landscape it will be just the beginning of the end of Erris. As sitting tenant, Shell will follow-up their exploitation of the nation by imposing hefty charges on other fuel companies for the use of their factilities. Generations to come will wonder how a profiteering and government-backed multi-national was allowed develop a corner of Ireland into the biggest gas and oil clearing site in Western Europe. M McEntee Ireland
The Corrib Gas project as designed is both dirty and dangerous. The gas must be brought ashore cleaned and stable. We must protect our pristine environment for ourselves and future generations. Statoil would not be allowed to pollute Norway in this way,why should they be allowed to do it here? A project should only proceed if completely safe, tried and tested. This is unprecedented and, therefore, unacceptable. Imelda Ireland
Oil makes rich only who owns it. If you think you are going to share any gain whith shell you are crazy. Look what happens in the rest of the world. Carlos Sabelli Italy
Burn slowly in hell SHELL ... Is not just the people of Erris against it, I am 2nd generation with my father having been born in Pullathomas and I am totally against the ireversable distruction of the Erris region... Erris is clean, natural and beautiful, it doesnt need to be ruined, go offshore and get your gas Annastasia United Kingdom
I am from clare and as you cant really trust everything you read in the papers i decided to go up to rossport and inform myself fully on the subject. i went to the camp, the local meeting, the local pub and to the local county council to get all angles on it and it turned out that the people out there on the roads and goingto jail are absolutely right....i read the article and that gentleman is talking through his hat. jobs me eye. sure they have a brilliant alternative plan put together to provide plenty of jobs locally through eco tourism if the place isnt totally destroyed. DOes he think the local people are protesting for the crack. if they had no reason to they would not be protesting and would happily have their lives back. Róisín Ní Gháirbhith róisín Ireland
The Corrib Gas Project would, if it went ahead, completely and irrevocably wipe out any chance for progress and sustainable development of the huge and diverse potential the Barony of Erris has. Betty Schult, Pullathomas Ireland
"But without this project Ireland will continue to rely on foreign goodwill to heat its homes and keep its lights on" - Benjamin the last time I looked Ireland was not a third world country relying on goodwill!! The gas from this project will be sold to the the Irish at market rates - not subsidised by the goverment, no tax will be paid by Shell so no benefit there either. Oh and I'm so glad you are an enviromental, social and safety expert and able to say that the impact will be extremely low. I'd be interested to read the research you have based this learned opinion on as I am sure the families of Erris would be as well. P.S - the whole project doesn't have planning permission.... Fiona Doherty Australia
This controversy essentially seems to be about two issues; Profit and Safety. Shell's desire for the former and local residents (pesky) desire for the latter. A solution might be to refine the gas at sea, as is done in Cork, but this would apparently eat in to profits too much and so is seemingly not an option. However, it is clear that the onshore refinery is equally not an option in the eyes of the Shell to Sea campaign. So what to do? Which should we place greater value on, a company's profits or the rights, concerns and safety of local residents? I believe the project is not, as was inferred, absolutely opposed by all Shell to Sea campaigners. Many fully appreciate the economic benefits this project might bring. But they are simply not willing to sacrifice safety for a few jobs. Mr. Cosgrove notes the supposedly enormous economic boost this project will give to the area, and the unprecedented largesse of Shell in sponsoring local events. Perhaps one should consider that this sponsorship is a recent occurance and had Shell demonstrated this benevolence eight years ago, instead of trying to bulldoze their way over local residents, they may have met with less resistance! Will the people of Erris really be fooled by these twenty pieces of silver? I would hope not. If Shell genuinely cared for the local area and it's people, it could easily forego some of it's profits and build offshore. But it refuses, and instead attempts to fragment the community and buy our loyalty. What new scraps might we receive from our master's table?! Profit or Safety. The choices we make now will determine the path our country takes - are we for sale? Brendan McDonagh Ireland
It should have been good for the community and would have been if it had been properly planned and designed with community input. Shell are no friend to any community they have ever come in contact with. Ireland should take a lesson from Mexico and develop oil and gas like Pemex. Check out a documentary on Rossport ¿ see guy Ireland
The risk to local beauty and amenities is high. Does offshore processing pose the same dangers. I doubt it. The gas should be processed at sea and the Irish Government should strike a new deal with shell that gives much more benefits to the people both locally and nationally. Plenty of countries have rejected unreasonable deals with the International Monetary Fund. The Irish Government can do exactly the same. There is no reason to stick to a dodgy deal that exploits Irish people. (I am Irish living in Australia.) Frank Australia
Of course Shell can be "generous".What are a few crumbs when you can rob the whole bakery with the'law' driving the getaway car .It makes my heart bleed.It is the old story once again "divide and conquer"with Shell laughing all the way to their banks. Kevin Gaffey United States
As somebody from Dublin who feels passionately opposed to the Corrib project as it now stands and has been to a protest at Bellanaboy, I feel bemused by being referred to as an 'Outsider'. The project has far wider ramifications to the whole country and ALL its citizens than is betrayed by the provincialism of such remarks. Dave Ireland
How can the powers that be coerce us into allowing fossil fuel pipelines to mutilate the countryside around us for fossil fuel that is running out. IN Wales we are beginning to want inward investment, wanting to get back to a self sufficient platform to protect ourselves as a small island against food shortages which will come if this race for energy is not curtailed. These projects benefit the very few for short term profit. There is no thought for the people who have to live with the consequences or for the finely balanced environment which is what should be protected for the sake of man and his descendants. For too long has profit come before peoples lives right throughout the world and never more so than now. Linda Ware United Kingdom
In the name of God the whole thing is mass madness. Why the hell have we given away our natural resources? Corrupt politicians GAVE AWAY the natural resources of the Irish taxpayers-this is a fact!This gas belongs to the people of Ireland, not to bertie ahern and his pals, not to private interests. Imagine what the estimated 50 billion euro could do for places like north west mayo. With that kind of money proper infrastructure and proper planning could become a reality in mayo and in the west in general-things that have never truely happened to date. A few short term construction jobs will not help in the long term, only properly funded long term planning in infrastructure etc will develop mayo and the west. This could easily become a reality if we were to take back from the private companies what rightfully belongs to the Irish taxpayer,what rightfully belongs to the people of mayo. Micheál Ó Máille Ireland
Any project which divides a community the way this has cannot, de facto, be good for that community. Where the local community do not 'buy in' to a project, that project is automatically bad for the community. It is high time that corporate Ireland realised what meaningful public consultation and community involvement means. The Corrib gas fiasco will hopefully be a watershed, and the lessons will be learned. I will always support a community standing up for itself, and the people of Erris are to be applauded for standing up for themselves against such powerful enemies for so long. Dominick Donnelly Ireland
The Corrib project is entirely anti democratic both at local and national level. The concerns of the locality are well aired and appreciated. The national concern, that of effectively handing over the this immensely valuable national resource for what amounts in real terms to a handful of local jobs, no prospect of any royalty payments, no guarantee of supply to this country and (to rub our noses in it) the obligation on the state to pay full market value to Shell for this national resource, is akin to treason. Neil Ireland
Mayo has a huge natural resource on its doorstep but is only a stepping stone in the exploitation of that resource. Ireland and Mayo should get more direct benefit, not some conscienceless multi-national, from it. Yes, the local employment and economy are very obvious beneficiaries, but these are short-term. James Maher Jordan
Its all been said, it should just be build it at sea so as not to ruin another area of scenic beauty to save money. John United Kingdom
This is a give away of our national resources by corrupt politicians. WHY DID FIANNA FAIL give away this licence and not get anything in return??? Because someone got something and it is not the IRISH. Shell have something on the Govt. and that is why the Govt are forcing this unwanted and dangerous project through. These licences have been given out to tony o reilly et al. Again this goverment are a disgrace for how they mismanage our natural resources. I do not support them in this and I urge all Fianna Fail members to say NO HARRY BLANEY Ireland
In a time when conservation of energy is paramount the selling off of national resources to a corporate entity is truly short-sighted and typifies the cynical political culture of contempt for citizens and idolatry of transnational profiteers. Margaret Coen Ireland
The record of Shell in Nigeria is the yardstick to use when judging Shell projects. m g slack Ireland
the core of business is how much profit the companies can get for operations. The businessmen are very blind about the environmental degredation these profits costs the environment. in this case therefore Shell Corrib gas project is not good for the community as their interest is profit maximization Maurice Ouma Odhiambo Kenya
How can it possibly be good for a community to have their air, water and whole natural environment polluted and disfigured by a massive gas refinery being constructed in the middle of it ? How can it be good for a community to have several kilometres of high-pressure, raw gas pipeline plus accompanying toxic waste pipe running through the middle of it - with the dangers having been highlighted by the explosion of a similar pipeline at Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA in August 2000 when a family of 12 camping over 200 metres away were wiped out ? The alternative proposal by Shell to Sea - that the refinery be built at sea - is a very reasonable suggestion which would greatly reduce the inland dangers and pollution and would still provide the jobs and the gas - with the added benefit of allowing the pristine environment of Erris to be developed sustainably as a major tourism attraction, thereby creating hundreds more jobs. Bob Wilson Ireland
I agree that gas is good, but not at any cost, Shell are only trying to save money by not refining at Sea. If this was at sea I am positive it would be welcomed by the people of Rossport and surrounding villages, happy in the knowledge that people's safety has come before profit. Why is is that lives of people are seen as unimportant and that anyone wishing to fight to protect their way of life and that of their children is chastised as some sort of militant stuck in the dark ages and afraid of progress. The area around Broadhaven is one of immense beauty and unspoilt waters and countryside why can people not understand the importance of keeping it like this. It is very easy for this to still go ahead, give people jobs if they are truly available, make gas available and keep our area clean. SHELL TO SEA. Simon Ireland
Ireland is an island nation. Over the last half century we have had an increasing financial burden on our ecommine of fule inportation, mainly oil and gas. Now for the first time we have an opportunity to be self sufficient in energy. Alas the peanut brains in government buildings have fouled up yet again. We now find our selves with the biggest oil and gas reserves in Europe and are still inporting these ever more expensive scarce commodities from the stranger. Not alone this but we are funding through tax breaks the whole exploration and, refining, marketing, P.R., media adverts, school scholarships, extra extravagient road building, security, and the clean up after the multi nationals have grabbed and ran. Talk about throwing stones at your own jacket, cutting off your nose to spite your face, shooting your self in the foot, it's like leaving the front door open and putting an advert in the local paper asking the criminals to call at any time and the kettle would be on the boil. Through your poll may I ask the people of Ireland to rise up now before it's too late and take back the family jewellery. God help those poor local people who are been beaten every day and their not even getting a mention on the media except for your paper fair play to you. keep up the good work you can see by the poles that the people of the nation are behind them and you. Kevin Barry Cashin Ireland
At peak production, the Corrib Gas Field will supply some 60pc of Ireland¿s national gas demand. Rising oil prices, and recent uncertainty over the reliability of European gas supplies, mean that this gas source is vital to Ireland¿s future security of energy supply and our economy as a whole. Richard Coffey Ireland
The Corrib gas project has clearly not been good for the local community. At all times throughout the last seven years, that community has been regarded by the developers and the state as an impediment to be either ignored, bribed or forced. Yet, despite the careful PR manipulation the Corrib gas project is now a byword for incompetence and arrogance. In that sense, it fully typifies the general mediocrity and ineptitude of public governance in Ireland. Mark, Co. Mayo Ireland
The people of Mayo who are standing against Shell and the government decision to back shell are an inspiration to me. It is heart warming and encouraging to see a small community exercise their autonomous right to a safe environment. May they have every success in their campaign. Send Shell to Sea Now! x Rosie O'Regan Ireland

I grew up in the 1960s within 10km of the Tynagh mines. They were to be the panacea of all our ills. Within 10 years hundreds of thousands of tons of lead and zinc ore had been shipped to Finland from Galway Docks and Tynagh was left with a massive poisoned hole in the ground. The sane story happened in the Silvermines and is happening in Navan. Giving our natural resources away to multinational firms is economic madness and is bad for the country and especially bad for the locality. Padraig Mannion Ireland
Shell, Statoil & Marathon must not be allowed to force their way into North Mayo as is, unfortunately, the current position. Each day the locals are informed of where Shell is repeatedly carrying out illegal operations without the necessary Ministerial permission in this area protected?? by European SAC's, SPA's and NHA's and they have to go and stop those illegal operations. What is happening in the greater Sruth Fhada Conn area is outrageous and unbelieveable in this 21st century. Fossil fuel is NOT going to provide the energy of the future. It's a sad thing that some contributors to this forum still believe that fossil fuel is the way forward. Erris is a prime location for all types of renewable energies - the energy of the FUTURE. It has huge potential for wind energy projects, solar energy projects and it is one of the prime areas in the world for the potential to generate ocean wave energy. Are we to sit back and allow Shell to destroy the potential in these aspects for Erris? Nobody is going to object to Shell locating a project using alternative energy at Bellanaboy - Erris would welcome the employment. But, offering a few miserly temporary construction jobs for a year or so to the greedy people who move temporarily into the area to fill these jobs is horrendous in the extreme. The people who think that Shell should be welcomed to Erris need to see further than the tips of their greedy and ill informed noses! Shell out!! D Ireland
I like Maura and many others before me have voted a resounding No. Being a member of the Green Party I do not believe that Ireland would benefit environmentaly or otherwise from such an ill concieved and undemocratic planning development. Shell has a horrendious human rights record Anyone who doubts this,should examine the extensive footage released by Philip Ikurusi from the Niger Delta Awareness Group. Projects such as the Corrib Pipline have no place in a Green and Sustainable Environment and will bring no immediate benefits to the Erris community, other than to cause disharmony and create pollution. This will serve no purpose, other than to line the pockets of corrupt and greedy individuals If I have a question for Padraig Cosgrove (Pro Gas Mayo Group) It is this What does he think will happen to the Natural Ammenities if Shell get their way? Etain J. Feeley Ireland
Surely the way to revitalise a rural area is not by destroying its environment? Shell's reason for beingin Mayo is not to rejuvenate the area, but merely to increase their profits - any idiot could tell you that. alison Ireland
"We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of the island of Ireland"- Proclomation of 1916 Ross Taylor Ireland
I think no because I don't trust Shell to maintain the pristine environment that currently exists in Erris. Conor Ireland
I am not one of 'a number of outsiders who travel the country opposing anything they can!'. Put the processing offshore to minimise the huge risks(don't kid yourself about this part). This will not affect local employment. Save the jobs AND send SHELL TO SEA! Claire McCarthy Ireland
I believe that the site for the terminal and the pipeline for bringing the raw gas ashore was choosen by Shell + others as the area where there would be the least resistance to their project. The area is thinly populated and if the health and welfare of a few hundred people was affected then so be it. The local people have been abandoned by Mayo County Council and other agencies which should be protecting their safety and health.The Green party has turned yellow on the issue. The other political parties aren't worth mentioning in relation to this issue. The risk of water contamination affecting the whole Erris region has never been investigated properly.The almost certain fact that the pristine estuary of Sruth Fhada Conn will be contaminated beyond recovery is being ignored.In years to come I wonder who will be held responcible for the lack of regulation and control on those issues. If this situation applied in Blackrock, Bray or Cobh there would be an uproar. Its very easy for some people living 10 or 12 miles away from the Shell project to welcome it with open arms and the bonus of extra "business" in the area.This terminal should be located at sea, or, at least,close to the shoreline away from the local population. tony mc grath Ireland
Shell To Sea and a sworn inquiry in to why a manifestly unsafe land based solution is being cheerled by our Governement and all institutions of state. tony kirby Ireland
as is proposed,no. Niamh Leonard Ireland
The small number of locals opposed to the development are doing so for the safety of their future and for the future of their children. When the pipes are laid would you like to live on top of them? NO But you are quite happy as long as you are living a safe distance away. Think safe and put Shell to Sea!!!! Kathy Dransfield United Kingdom
I am outraged at the blatant rape of Irish Natural resources represented by this project and at the general level of ignorance and indifference to this. When the energy crisis really begins to bite we will realise how we have been robbed. Mr Cosgrove cannot be serious about the employment potential of this project. When the dust settles (if ever) there will only be a handful of low level jobs on the site. Aongus Mac Cana Albania
The only serious money to made is from the refining of oil & gas. By refining onshore, Shell will have a monopoly on the refining of ANY hydrocarbon deposits yet to be discovered off the west coast. Nice work, if you can get it! Did I mention the Ogani people in Nigeria ? Google that, I dare you. Eamonn Ireland
The Gas should be processed at sea.Its too late when you detect untreated gas. Also the government should be demanding more revenue from Shell/Statoil. Cuillaun Ireland
The technical abuses inherent in what Shell are planning alone are enough for this to be opposed. Also, the fact that the entire gas field has already been sold off to Shell/Statoil/Marathon means economic benefits are defunct from the get go- the irish state doesn't even have status as a preferred client. Shell continually raise the number of promised jobs- reality will be a far different story. Look at shell's record in nigeria. Shell to sea. Our state has sold out our natural resources, it shouldn't allow those same resources be used to blow its citizens to kingdom come. Hugh Roche Kelly Ireland
If Shell put to Sea there would still be "life in Erris village" as workers on a rig would still need to be housed, watered and fed on dry land. Would it not be a better, safer, cleaner and environmentally friendlier village for all to live in once the processing unit has been put to sea where it belongs. C.McCarthy - Dublin Ireland
Like any other major infrastructural development whether it be the proposed Toxic Waste Incinerator at Poolbeg/Ringsend or a huge superdump in north Dublin the interests of the local people and the impact on the environment(air, water, soil pollution) are crucial issues to consider. The great scandal of what is happening in Mayo is not just the trampling on local peoples' rights to live in safety and security and the adverse impact on the local amenity value of the area in the future. No. The great scandal is the GRAND THEFT EURO of the IRISH PEOPLES' MONEY potentially as much as €500 billion! Why are Shell and others such as the O'Reillys (Provident Resources) being given OUR GAS FOR NOTHING. Why are Ireland's terms for natural resources development the most generous in the world? Colm Rapple the veteran financial journalist (and hardly a subversive radical) has labelled the recent granting of further licenses by Minister Dempsey under the same terms as Rossport as TREASON. So the theft at Rossport is set to be multiplied even further! Why don't we do what the Norwegians did when they discovered their reserves in the 1970's set up a state oil/gas company Statoil to control the resources and ensure the people of Norway benefitted from what was theirs? A few jobs will be created in the short term constructing the facility. A few jobs will remain to run it. But thats it. No billions to the Irish people to build our schools, our hospitals, our sports halls for the young. No security of energy supply, no discount for local people, tada. A quote: 'So will it (Rossport) make any difference to the price Irish people pay for gas?' 'No it won't' - The head of Bord Gáis Energy Supply, David Bunworth RTÉ Five Seven Live (Fri 21st Jul 06) The laws on natural resource exploitation were changed by a Fianna Fáil government led by Charles Haughey with Minister Bertie Ahern at his side. Ray Burke was the minister in charge of the area. This and successive Fianna Fáil governments have cravenly and criminally acted against the national interest on this issue. I wonder why?Why have they have ignored the views of the vast majority of people-repeated in poll after poll-both nationally and in Mayo against this project as presently being constructed. Perhaps one day people will see through their lies. MacDara Blaney Dublin MacDara Blaney Ireland
The majority of the population do not want the people of Mayo treated in such a shameful way. If this was in any other county I believe that Shell would not be accommodated in the same way. The government still have options and could make good the awful decisions that were make by their predecessors.Mary Lavelle-Burke Ireland
Multinationals like Shell will have to listen to the voice of the people, Mayo people are intelligent articulate and reasonable people. Marty Gallagher Ireland
I felt Maura Harrington/Shell to Sea should have refused to participate in this Head2Head because they are allowing the debate to be narrowly presented in terms of the local Mayo community. The 'local community' should be understood as all Irish citizens who should, as in Norway, benefit from our country's own natural resources. As I think Fintan O'Toole said at a public meeting around the time of the imprisonment of the Rossport Five, this is such a bad deal for the Irish people [the local community] that we would be better off leaving the gas unexploited where it is for now. Mark Ireland
If this government or any previous Fianna Fáil led one had an ounce of moral backbone, or an inch of human rights proofing of its decisions, Shell would never have dipped it's big toe in our waters. Shell has an appalling human rights record( eg Ogoni Nigeria for starters)and it is our Gardai who are doing their handiwork now. Ordinary decent people in Erris and elsewhere are awake to this,and will not rest until justice is done. paul paul carroll Ireland
What's bad for the environment is bad for the local (and wider) community. Not to mention the fact our government sold the rights for a song! Shauna Ireland
Padraig quite writely points out that for many years local people have had to leave the area for work. This region of the country has always been neglected by past governments. Should the people of this region except anything thrown at them in the way of potential employment or should they not deserve the right to work and live in a healthy environment like everyone else. Maybe Berite thought that we would be grateful for any employment regardless of what it is. The Erris region has and never will be suited to heavy industry such as this. The area could benefit ennourmously from eco tourism, aquaculture, fishing,etc and thus generating employment in a sustainable way. It would take time and investment, but look at Wesport and Dingle for example. Shell to Sea want the entire project reconfigured properly and contrary to what people think they are not against the gas. If this entire project had been taken cared of properly, the gas would be flowing and no one would have even heard of Bellanaboy Ronan Ireland
The bulk of the dublin-based media have abandoned the ordinary people who are beset by greedy multinationals and greasy politicians. In the case of Rossport RTE has changed from Public-Broadcaster to State-Broadcaster. Kevin Ireland
It's amazing how much we live in a looking-glass world these days, and the Shell to Sea campaign has done much to expose the rotten state of affairs that passes for 'democracy' in this country. how can it be that 80% of the immediately-affected population can be castigated by Pádraig Cosgrove and his likes as 'a vocal minority', while a tiny self-interested cabal of local (and not-so-local) businessmen on the side of Shell equals 'local consent'. Like many a privileged Irishman before him, he chooses to look through the telescope the wrong way round at the reality that surrounds him and deny that there's any problem with this dangerous and exploitative project because it doesn't suit his interests. His mentality (and it's Shell's mentality too) is broadly shared by the members of the current government, who have sent out their police to attack, harass and maim Irish citizens to ram through this unwanted project over broken bodies, all at no cost to Shell. What is happening in Mayo now is the culmination of a process of what can only be called 'groomming' of Irish politicians by Big Oil over the last three decades, and the beginning of a wave of brutal theft-cum-exploitation of our country's offshore wealth, leaving behind only broken people, broken communities and broken environments. Only the people of Erris and the Shell to Sea campaign stand between us and an all-too-possible polluted wasteland of corporate greed. I'd love to know where Pádraig gets his '250 local paychecks' statistic from - does it include the 200-odd Gardai that have been drafted into the area to practice those forms of democratic persuasion with fist, boot and baton that he presumably approves of. If so, then Pádraig's definition of an Erris local is very elastic - all you'd need to do is spend one night in a Belmullet hotel in a blue uniform. Also, Pádraig presumably considers Galway, Cork, Limerick, Sligo and Scotland as part of Erris, as that's a small but real list of where the majority of his supposedly-local workforce are normally resident. It is fitting to remember too that Shell in other countries have made governments attack, imprison and even execute their own citizens on the company's instruction. The awful fate of Ken Saro-Wiwa is a standing reproach to the government in this matter, especially since his brave stand would never be replicated by any of those corrupt creatures who pretend to represent us. Finally, according to Pádraig, Bertie Ahern and the rest of Shell's Irish cheerleaders, the forcing through of this project in in the 'national interest'. If one cares to recall some recent history, it's worth remembering that lots of Shell's new Irish friends may have considerable expertise in the management and exploitation of offshore wealth, and there was absolutely no consideration back then of the 'national interest'! Send Shell to Sea! Re-negotiate the deal! Ray Ireland
The high pressure raw gas pipeline would put families in continual mortal danger. The drinking water has already been poisoned with aluminium exposed from the removal of bogland at the rifinery site. The state gets no royalties and possibly no tax as exploration costs can be written off. Locals people have been beaten off the roads while holding peaceful protests. The answer has to be no, shell's project is not good for the local community. For anyone not convinced, head on a trip up to Erris. It's an education and an amazingly beautiful place. Paul Lynch Ireland
I support Shell to Sea and the Rossport Five and the right for Irish people to control their own lands and resources. Patricia McKenna Ireland
The argument for jobs is overstated, and there is certainly no evidence that the same number of jobs cannot be created by processing the gas off shore, which is the central demand of the Shell to Sea lobby. It is also a nonsense to say that Shell jobs will mean that the exodus of people from the area will stop - not all residents of north west mayo - in particular the newest batch of bright, highly educated young people - will be satisfied by the type of employment Shell has to offer. The reference to emigration to England is outdated, most people need travel no further than the nearest town for employment. The area belongs to the people of Erris and their wishes - modest wishes it might be added - ought to be respected. Shell, most definitely, to Sea. Ursula NiChonghoile Ireland
Its about time that Shell realised the health, safety and future of the people of Rossport and Erris is not for sale. Shell to Sea. Bernadette Ireland
Greed, Greed and more Greed. The only people to profit from this fiasco are Shell. The Irish tax-payers won't get their OWN gas any cheaper. Our Govt is GIVING AWAY our natural resources for 30 pieces of silver. The few long-term jobs that will be afforded will not compensate for the threat to lives in that area and the divisions amongst that community. A disasterous mistake all round. Put the refinery out to sea, and make Shell pay for OUR gas! Pat, Wicklow Ireland
Erris is a place of unspoilt beauty, clean air, and waters that we can as of yet drink and swim in without due concern. Shell EMP Ireland are eroding our bogs of fauna and wildlife, drilling our shorelines for our gas/oil. Planning to build a refinery that will emit potentially dangerous chemicals into our envirionment. Céad míle fáilte romhaibh Shell agus bhur gcairde, I will just sit back and let you destroy our beautiful area. Why did you not take the safer option and go to sea? In years to come those of you who believe that Shell will breathe life in to this community will be proved wrong. Unfortunately the life of our community will be taken away. Jobs are important to any area but not at any cost. Shells legacy in other countries does not fill me with much confidence as to their present or future involvement in this area. We may close our eyes to the threat of pollution, and gas explosions in an area devoid of a proper hospital and fire service. When all is said and done it is the children of this area that will reap any potential envirionmental damage that may be done. Caitlin Ní Chonghóile Mayo Caitlin Ni Chonghóile Ireland
Is Shell's Corrib Gas project good for the local community? NO. Shell's creation of a tax-deductible 'corporate social investment' fund called a slush fund by Shell to Sea supporters to sponsor events and projects in the Erris area, is a cynical and pathetic public relations stunt to woo support for its controversial gas pipeline and terminal. Fr. Sean Noone, Parish Priest of Pollathomas, has referred (Irish Times 22 September) to this fund. 'Some people have been attracted by money, and the divisions this has caused will take more than a generation to heal', he stated, adding that the 'opponents, portrayed as baddies by Shell, are the prophets when it comes to our environment'. Shell's operations have also caused divisions in the regional Catholic Church. While some local priests have voiced their support for the opponents of the gas project, the Council for the West established by the western bishops supports the project. Fr. Noone has been directed not to attend the protests by his superiors. Interestingly, the CFW shares offices, on the former Asahi site in Killala, with a company called Gaeltec Utilities Ltd. Gaeltec an associate company of the Iberian multi-billion euro construction and engineering Somague/Sacyr Valle-hermoso group has as its Irish director Sean Hannick, Chairman of the CFW. The administrator of the CFW is listed as the 'contact' for Gaeltec. Perhaps the bishops can explain these highly suspect corporate ties? I admire, and support, the Rossport 5, who have taken on the might of the government, the Gardaí, the judiciary and the Shell conglomerate in defence of the local environment and the lives and safety of local people. Tom Hanahoe, Killala. Tel; 096-33811. tom hanahoe Ireland
Nothing Shell can do now, other than simply pack up and leave, is acceptable as they lost the trust of the community before 2004.Too many questions remain as the lack of transparency, co-opting of unelected officals and other questionable practices. This project remains one big time-bomb that has the potential to wipe out the all the people of Rossport, Kilcommon, Erris and Balmullet with a blast as big as an a-bomb. Something that all the money in Shell's coffers will not undo the damage when it happens. Dave Ireland
For the Corrib Gas project to really benefit the people of Mayo the resource would have to be returned to them. They would find a way to develop it safely and sustainably. In their control it would provide the where with all to stimulate real long term employment of the region. Until then the gas is better left where it is. We will need it just as much or more in 50 years there is no hurry. Kathy Sinnott MEP Ireland
Take a lesson from us over here in the U.S. and BEWARE of the oil giants. They will use and abuse you to death!Do you think the folks at Shell are so kind-hearted as to do your community well? They want only one thing: To line their pockets at your expense. When they have raped your country to the limit they will simply move on. Protect your beautiful country - don't be so naive - learn by the foolish mistakes of other countries - with the U.S. being at the top of the heap! I feel that Ireland is so vulnerable with its soaring economy. Corporations will be tripping over each other to come for their share of the pie. Where were they when the good people of Ireland REALLY needed their help? You have fought and struggled so long for dear Eire. Don't sell out now!!! Think of the generations of your ancestors who gave their hearts, souls and finally their lives because of their love of Ireland. In their honor it is up to you to protect Ireland -not to give it away to greedy corporations. Margaret United States
It continues to surprise me that people are advocating offshore processing of gas in the deepwater Atlantic for a field of this size, without any experience of what that would entail in terms of safety and environmental risk. A subsea tieback to shore, like that planned for Corrib, is state of the art. The proposed onshore pipeline and the Bellanaboy terminal must conform to all relevant health, safety and environmental legislation in Ireland, and should therefore pose minimal risk to all. The ongoing project and future operation should continue to bring new jobs and disposable income to the Erris area well into the future. Unfortunately, as the reactions on the website show, emotions still run high and a large number of people see this project as creating an environmental blackspot. I'm not aware of existing gas terminals/ refineries that have created such problems for local people or their environment. I hope, for the sake of future oil and gas production in Ireland, that through time commonsense will prevail and the myth of "Shell to Sea" is exposed for what it is. James Ireland
were this shell operation to go ahead it must be offshore for the safety of all concerned and not to augment the all-ready fat profits of such profiteers caoimhin mac einri Ireland
The flare-off from the gas will pollute the darkness of the night sky over Erris which according to Philip's Dark Skies map is one of the best places in Europe to view the Stars in all their pristine glory. Martin O Kelly Ireland
erris is a beautifull place how can anyone put gas refinery in local community right on the door steps no its not good it is disgracefull what irish goverment is doing to local community in mayo pulluting the water and putting people lives in danger i left 20 yeas ago when i go back i do not want to see refinery there shellto sea elizabeth usa elizabeth United States
We have to learn that hearts as well as heads have to be part of national decisions. Social power has to be taken into account as well as political and economic power. Otherwise we make slaves of each other. And so the need for the Aarhus Convention not yet signed by Ireland. It assures the right of community to participate in environmental decisions. m.m.mccarron Ireland
The Irish government has basically put a "For Sale" sign on Ireland by selling its mineral rights to a corporation for short term financial gain. What will be sold next? All of Ireland will eventually have to pay for the long term health effects on Mayo's residents plus the damage to the sea & fishing industry. Lobster prices will skyrocket since their reproductive process is severely affected by the presence of petroleum byproducts in the water. Aye Mayo does not stand alone -- New York & Connecticut residents are fighting Shell's proposed off-shore natural gas terminal ( Suzy United States
How can the project be good for the local community when it poses so many potential hazards? It threatens the environment as a whole but more importantly it may put human life at risk. One wonders if the area was chosen because of its population density. At any rate, it has already taken a huge toll on the community - a total disregard for civil liberties, a mistrust of law enforcement and the judical system, a pitting of neighbor against neighbor, creating enemies of those who support the project versus those who do not. Everything has changed drastically. Let's hope that the worst is not yet to come! (Formative years spent in Erris) Kathy Lowry United States
I wholeheartedly welcome the development of this terminal which will have minimal impact on the local environment. Its absolute rubbish to suggest local waterways will be polluted - we do have environment standards in this country and any discharge water will be treated appropriately. Neither is safety an issue as many independent reports have demonstrated. The "Rossport Five" were nothing but a bunch of idiots who refused to obey a court injunction and so imprisoned themselves. As a Mayo man I am astonished by the narrow-mindedness of many posts on here but am thankful at least our modern planning and judicial systems have made the right decision. I look on the now futile protests of "Shell to Sea" protesters as amusing. Looking forward to the certain completion of the plant and a gas network in Mayo/Galway Sean Ireland
say no to mulinational activity worldwide these companies are destroying the environment endangering food security raping developing contries of national ressources and spreading wars.Shell is not concerned with human development see the nigel delta visit it and plant rice maureen o'connor Uganda
Pádraig, awake from your dreams and open your eyes: The only profit will go to Shell! In these days (almost) everybody is thinking and talking about a sustainable and responsable use of our natural resources while Shell is going on with what the global player is best known for: The exploitation of natural resources without consideration for the local environment and community. On the periphery of Europe and Ireland, people of Erris have the opportunity to preserve their outstanding natural and cultural heritage but at the same time they run the risk of being used by an unscrupulous global player. At the moment the latter takes advantage of the geopgraphical remoteness of Erris and the modest or poor life of most people living there: In the short term, Shell's henchmen get jobs and low wages while the Shell company makes millions of Euro at the cost of the local environment and community. Shell pours a (for them) ridiculous amount of money to the Erris region for the sake of the company's profit. As an anonymous global player without an own heritage, Shell does not have to be and is not concerned about the environment and the future of a small region but about profit maximisation for the company. Instead of working for Shell's profit (and at the same time destroying the natural resources) the local community should find ways to work for the own profit with regard to the environment and the heritage. I know that this way is possible - just an example: I visited Erris and talked to locals and I have the impression that the conditions of life of the Erris population are more or less the same as of the Swiss peasants who live in boarder regions in the Alps. But a lot of the Swiss peasants realised that their environment is their capital: On the one side they live as peasants and on the other side they earn money from the local tourism. As the Swiss tourism industry of the last hundred or two hundred years proves, it is possible to live a good life without reckless environmental pollution or / and giving away natural resources. Ireland has already built up a successful tourism industry in promoting the natural beauty of the country. If Ireland and single regions go on with projects like Shell's Corrib Gas tourists will not visit Ireland any more because they will not spend their holidays in polluted and even dangerous (the pipeline!) places. So, please take on responsibility for your community and environment and think about their future - and not only about yours and the one of Shell! Rahel Sameli Switzerland
Shell is not the future, it is the past. The world MUST get out of the oil driven economy that has detroyed and continue to want to destroy our planet. Cecile CHICH United Kingdom
The Republic of Ireland needs to get its legal infrastructure in order first: by ratifying the United Nations Aarhus Convention agreement it signed in 1998. William Finnerty United Kingdom
The solution is simple .Shell must refine at sea .We must protect our environment ,we owe that much to future generations.the gas and oil will run out.Are we to be left with Shells legacy of pollution to clean up?our country riddled with unsafe pipelines and none of the profits.Thank shell to sea for making us aware. Betty Noone Ireland
The project is absolutely wrong for the area. The short sighted people promoting the short term economic gains and ignoring the environmental and cultural issues should start to ask what their property will be worth in say 5-10 years should this project go ahead and they are forced to leave the area. Anne Ireland
Shell/Statoil/Marathon's "crumbs off the table" approach to the Erris community with the paltry grants, clearly designed to sucker deceant people who fail to see the true wealth creating, value added nature of oil/gas related work off their coast. The filthy refinery(ies)/pipeline(s)represent the tail end of a resource based wealth generator with jobs, goods, and services flowing from the exploration and production work that is going in the main to Scotland. All this outsourced work can be written off against the highly suspect 1992 FF/PD tax deal. The Corrib Consortium's miserable local "grants" can alo be written off against this treasonous deal. Padhraig Campbell Ireland
Why can't it be done at sea? Shell obviously want to do it onshore as they will make more money. Is profit the sole mover in the country these days? Where is the outcry that a corrupt government minister signed this deal which will not benefit the local community. This is Irish Gas - the profits should be used for our Health and Education services. Joe Hickey Ireland
Given the world wide condemnation of Shell the so called Irish Govt have definatly lost the plot. The biggest rats who did the deed behind closed doors, Ray Bourke, Dempsey and Fahy also. The person who is responsible is Bertie Ahern, not just for allowing this project to go through, but for insulting the people of Mayo...We are not a bunch of ignorant Irish bog hoppers... We have rights Mr Ahern its about time you listened and listened well, this project will kill people just the same as Shell have done in ever country they have invaded and location they have abused. pene United States
Yes to jobs & economic progress - no to a dangerous & polluting development which would destroy a unique landscape & endanger life for miles around! The simple answer is to refine the gas at sea. If you have any illusions about Shell's intentions, read their record on pollution & human rights, available via Amnesty International or Friends of the Earth - start with the Niger Delta. Chrissie United Kingdom
Shell has been told all over the world to pack up and leave. In 6 or 7 contries Shell have been told that the risk to people and the enviroment is just not worth the risk. In Canada, America, Russia, South America plus others; Shell have had to leave the qas & oil alone as it posed to much of a human risk as well as enviromently. You would think that the rest of the IRISH GOVERMENT would stand up and say get out. Well I say it now; "SHELL get out" You are going to cause a civil war that no one wants.Just so you can make write offs and profit shares.GET OUT NOW! Edward Collins Ireland
Shell chun Sáile Maudan Rouxin France
Mr. Padraig Cosgrove is telling us that this will provide employment for people in Erris when the reality is that in the long term it will provide only fifty jobs. The price for this small ammount of employment is the destruction of the environment in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland and the loss of the inshore fishing industry in this area will surely mean the loss of considerably more than fifty jobs. Sinead Ni Nuallain Ireland
The final verse of a street ballad called 'The Rossport Five' goes: Then, let Shell that global predator that prowls both land and sea - To bully and bribe, and betray the world with their eniquity, Beware of the power of the people, who demand their right to say; 'Shell shall not endanger Rossport, nor our sweet Broadhaven Bay!' Roisin Ni Fhaolain Ireland
People before profit Mairin Ni Nuallain Ireland

Posted Date: 
26 October 2007 - 2:49pm