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Drunk at the healm?

Worker on Shell pipeline due in courtLorna Siggins and Tom Shiel A Scottish man working on the Shell pipeline contract in north Mayo is due in Belmullet court on Wednesday charged with having excess alcohol taken while in charge of a vessel.The man was arrested by gardaí on Friday night after substantial damage had been caused to four fishing vessels at Ballyglass pier by a 60 foot flat-bottom barge.The barge is being used by Tidewave Ltd, which is contracted to handle the shallow water onshore section of the Shell Corrib gas pipeline at the Glengad/Dooncarton landfall.No one was on the vessels at the time of the damage, but several witnesses alerted the gardaí. The four boats damaged include the Áine Patricia, a new vivier crabber worth over €1 million, a salmon vessel, and two crab boats, the Erris Queen and Deirdre Bríd.The damaged boats belong to members of the Erris Fishermen's Association. Over three years ago, the association asked the Minister for the Marine to direct that the Corrib gas field developers build their own pier facility, as the pier at Ballyglass wasn't suitable.The case of the five Erris men still in jail over opposition to the pipeline is due for mention in the High Court today.Two separate applications have been made seeking to quash the injunction as ministerial consent for installation and commissioning of the pipeline has not yet been given. At least one of the applications is expected to be heard on Wednesday.It was claimed at the weekend that the five men will not agree to the appointment of a binding mediator. Dr Mark Garavan, a lecturer at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology in Castlebar, told 1,500 people at a rally in Belmullet on Saturday that he had visited the jailed men on Friday.''They are being put under heavy pressure to agree [ to a mediator], but of course they won't do so under any circumstances.''Another protest in support of the men was held at the Galway/Mayo Connacht final in Pearse Stadium in Galway city yesterday.© The Irish Times

Posted Date: 
5 August 2005 - 5:05pm