"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
THE Shell-to-Sea campaign is planning to demonstrate out-side the Dail on St Valentine’s Day.
Opponents of the Corrib gas refinery and on-shore pipeline will travel to Dublin on the feast of romance, February 14 next, to highlight the Government’s “sweet-heart deal” with the Corrib gas partners which include Shell E&P Ireland Ltd (SEPIL).
Meanwhile, the preferred alternative route for the Corrib gas on-shore pipeline is expected to be announced in March. RPS is currently examining all of the routes and considering public feedback from a number of consultation events held on the issue in north Mayo.
Between 70 and over 100 people took part in a demonstration at the terminal site in Bellanaboy on Friday last, February 1 and afterwards in Belmullet to protest at the announcement of Shell’s annual profits.
The protest was a peaceful one, with workers gaining access to the terminal unhindered. The chaotic scenes witnessed on previous protests did not materialise, and the group was quick to point out that the protest was not a national day of protest.
Yesterday morning, Monday, February 4, protestors tried to prevent a truck gaining access to the terminal site to highlight an alleged breach of the planning conditions attached to the development. They claim some trucks traveling to the site are not using the designated hauliage route.
Meanwhile, Erris Inshoure Fishermen’s Association (EIFA) has gained little satisfaction from its recent meeting with Minister for Communication, Marine and Natural Resources on January 24 last over concerns about pollution from the Corrib project. The organisation has expressed frustration with the lack of progress on addressing their key concerns about possible discharge into Broadhaven Bay. However, the lines of communication with the minister have been kept open, a fact which is welcome to both sides.
On Satuday night, January 26 last SEPIL Ltd hosted a dinner in the Boradhaven Bay Hotel to honour the 11 receipients of the Corrib Gas Partners’ 2007 third level scholar-ship’s programme. The 2008 Scholarship programme will be launched in the coming weeks.
The scheme was launched by SEPIL as a means of fostering links with the community, and as a gesture of good will.