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Press Release: Shell to Sea Halt Unauthorised Work to Protect Conservation Area

For Immediate Release:

Today, Wednesday 21st October at 1pm, Shell to Sea stopped illegal work at Glengad, Co Mayo, when a campaigner climbed on the arm of a Volvo digger. Shell were preparing to drill bore holes in a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), and the action was to stop this work from going ahead. Currently Shell have been stopped for 3 hours before their work has reached the SAC.

Shell confirmed to Shell to Sea that they are relying solely on the consent of the landowner for the works to be carried out, however works on an SAC site requires permission of the Minister for Environment under the the EC Habitats Regulations.

The work is being carried out only two hundred metres from where Shell & RPS were stopped from drilling in October 2007. Commenting on that unauthorised drilling work Minister Gormley said: “The actions of the Shell contractors in entering a Special Area of Conservation and carrying out works without authorisation are a matter of serious concern to me. I find it unacceptable that this has occurred at a time when my Department has been making special efforts to keep in communication with Shell during the course of this project to date.

This latest work comes just days before the expected Bord Pleanála decision regarding the onshore pipeline.

Commenting from Glengad, Terence Conway stated "Shell & Co. are making a total mockery of the laws of this country. They've been riding roughshod over this community for years now and they're doing it to planning law now too. It is time for John Gormley and the Government to stand up to the bullying of Shell”.

For verification or further comment, please contact:

Terence Conway
Maura Harrington

Notes for editors:

[1] Dept of Environment Press Release 19/11/07 - Minister issues directions on Mayo nature site damaged by Corrib gas works.
http://www.environ.ie/en/Heritage/NationalParksandWildlife/News/MainBody,15943,en.htm

[2]  An Bord Pleanála have stated that they will make their decision on the onshore section of the Corrib Gas pipeline on or before the 23rd October 09.