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Press Release: Shell to Sea campaign

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We wish once again to thank all our supporters whose efforts have sustained us during our imprisonment. We have been overwhelmed by the well wishes that we have received since our release.

We ask all our supporters to remain mobilised. Our campaign is far from over. Shell is still publicly committed to bringing unprocessed gas at high pressure through the village of Rossport. We remain completely opposed to this and will not relent in our efforts to ensure that it does not happen.

The numbers of people who have signed petitions on our behalf are still being counted. To date, we have tallied over 16,000 signatures. We want to gratefully acknowledge this level of support. We also note that all except three Rossport landowners have now declared their opposition to Shell’s proposed pipeline.

This level of support is in contrast to that commanded by the Pro-Erris Gas Group (PEGG). We condemn Pegg’s recent proposal as a transparent device to permit Shell to avoid responsibility for illegally assembling its pipeline. We are deeply disappointed and concerned at Minister Dempsey’s failure to immediately reject this proposal. Instead, he has publicly responded to the promptings of an unrepresentative group and has taken legal advice on their proposal and met Shell executives to further discuss it.

The dismantling of the assembled pipeline is, for us, a test of the regulatory regime governing the Corrib gas project. It is essential that Ministerial orders are carried out and that the bona fides of the Department are established. The Minister’s prevarication on this matter does not set a good context for the prospects for successful talks.

We are still ready for meaningful talks to resolve the Corrib gas crisis. However, we note with concern Shell’s public statements that they will not be changing their project in any way and do not intend to bow to what they call ‘public pressure.’ Once again, Shell is being hardline and fundamentalist. If this remains their position then it is unclear what purpose they expect dialogue to serve. You cannot enter talks without a willingness to listen and to change.

For our part, we have endeavoured to create a positive atmosphere over the last three weeks. Shell has been granted access to all of their work-sites in order to ensure environmental management and to safely close down these sites over the winter period. We made a submission to Minister Dempsey’s Consultation days in Geesala in order to directly explain why we could not fully participate. We did so in order to affirm the principle of dialogue and consultation.

We remain committed to resolving the issues between our community and Shell and their government partner. We hope for a similar commitment from them. We affirm again that our primary concern is the health and safety of our families and community. The Corrib Gas project can only proceed with agreement.

For comment or verification please call Dr Mark Garavan 087 9023687

Posted Date: 
24 October 2005 - 6:01pm