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Labour Cllr. calls for Shell to cease all operations and refine the gas at sea

More than 400 people marched through the streets of Sligo last Saturday in support for the Rossport Five. Addressing the rally local Labour Councillor Ald. Declan Bree claimed that the jailing of the five men for contempt of court had once again brought into sharp focus the vast natural resources off our coast, as well as on land.
''The Rossport five are honorable men full of integrity. They were dragged before the High Court because they were not content to allow a major multinational company put a highly pressurised pipeline for untreated gas close to their homes with the consequent risk of explosion to themselves, their families and their communities,'' he said.Clr. Bree told the rally it was ''outrageous that these five men remained in prison for merely seeking to protect their homes and communities against the unknown and un-quantified danger from the construction of the Shell gas pipeline.''The reality in Ireland today is that foreign transnational corporations like Shell own all the natural resources of our country. The Irish people get little or no return from the exploitation of these valuable and increasingly scarce resources. Already the Kinsale gas field is almost depleted.''Earlier this year the government issued new exclusive licences for exploiting new areas of Irish territorial waters off the northwest coast. According to all accounts, Shell will have secured additional licences to further exploit and explore for oil and gas.''The history leading up to the imprisonment of the Rossport Five is one of a so-called sovereign Government bending over backwards to facilitate the pillage of this country's oil and gas wealth by big business.'' Alderman Bree said.''Profit maximisation is of course the reason why Shell wants to build such a pipeline, unprecedented anywhere else in the world, rather than the more costly alternative of an offshore processing facility. ''Shell plans to exploit the gas reserve off the Mayo coast as cheaply as possible and then sell it back to the Irish people for as high a price as if it were coming from Russia or anywhere else in the world.'' said Alderman Bree.''We must ensure that Shell and E&P Ireland cease all operations in Erris, both onshore and offshore, pending a full investigation into the Corrib gas project as a whole, particularly in terms of the health and safety of the local residents in Rossport and the surrounding areas, and that it be agreed to refine the gas at sea.''And above all we must show our solidarity with those five courageous North Mayo men and their families and neighbors who hail from a gallant community, which has resisted overlords since the days of Michael Davitt.'' Clr. Bree concluded.THE SLIGO CHAMPION

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:55am