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Green minister's route for Rossport pipeline is through protected bogland
EAMON RYAN must have thought it was an inspired political stroke.
The Green TD and Minister for Communications gave Shell permission to carry out investigation work at its controversial site in Rossport, Co. Mayo, to see if an alternative route could be found for the pipeline the oil giant needs to bring gas onshore.
The location of this pipe has caused such bitter divisions that Shell has so far been unable to proceed with its plans to extract millions of euro worth of gas from an offshore find.

But Mr Ryan, a member of a party that prides itself on its environmental record, has unwittingly walked himself into even more trouble.
For the alternative route suggested - and along which he has given permission for investigative work - cuts through a unique bogland area that is an officially protected habitat.
Now a formal complaint has been lodged by locals with the European Commission.
The complaint states: 'The Minister for Communications has given permission to carry out invasive site-investigation works in a priority habitat on the basis that Shell will be making an application for consent.
'Examination of possible options for re-routing were not part of the remit for the pipeline safety review, which was to examine the pipeline design and route as proposed.'
It continues: 'The minister for communications, marine and natural resources [Eamon Ryan] has no function in the granting of a permission to do invasive site investigation works in a designated priority habitat.
'Compliance with the habitats directive is with the minister for the department of the environment, heritage and local government.'
Work on the site is due to get under way next Wednesday, October 24.
The two locals who lodged the complaint have asked officials to intervene immediately to stop the work from going ahead.
The complaint concludes: 'Please inform Ireland as a matter of urgency of the necessity for the withdrawal of any consent to do Invasive site investigation works on these lands.'
Valerie Hanley
Irish Mail On Sunday

Posted Date: 
30 November 2007 - 1:28pm