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Minister's committee appearance must include full Rossport 5 discussion

Labour Spokesperson on Energy, Deputy Tommy Broughan, has welcomed the agreement by Minister Noel Dempsey to finally appear before the Oireachtas Committee on Communication, Marine and Natural Resources (CMNR) on the Corrib gas pipeline project but has urged that a discussion on the ongoing imprisonment of the ‘Rossport 5’ be included in the hearing. Deputy Broughan commented, “I have been calling on Minister Dempsey to attend a Committee hearing on this issue since the beginning of the summer, and therefore welcome news that he will finally attend. However, the five Rossport citizens have now spent 80 days in prison because of their health and safety fears surrounding this project. It is unbelievable, and frankly quite ridiculous, that the CMNR Committee would hold discussions next week on the “process, structure and management” of the Corrib pipeline development but banish all mention of the five imprisoned men. “The Committee’s Chairperson has argued that while the men are in contempt of court issues relating to their imprisonment cannot be discussed. But securing the release of the five imprisoned Rossport citizens must surely be the first priority of the CMNR and its Chairperson. “For that reason I have continually requested a full hearing of the Corrib issue over the past two months by this Committee. The meeting should therefore also include the families of the Rossport 5, Shell and Statoil management and representatives of the Shell to Sea campaign. What Chairperson Noel O’Flynn is now doing is in effect organising a performance of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.” For more information contact Tommy Broughan at 087 288 0777

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:08am