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Pipeline to be taken apart as anger now directed at PEGG

The Pro Erris Gas Group's (PEGG) proposal to postpone the dismantling of the unauthorised pipeline at Rossport has been turned down but the controversy it generated prevails.In a statement issued last Friday, Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, Mr Noel Dempsey, said he would not be changing his orginal order. “... my original direction to Shell that remedial action should be taken to address the breach of the extant consents should stand and, as a consequence, that Shell should continue to cut the sections of pipeline which they had welded without consent.''The Minister said he accepted the bona fides of PEGG's proposal and stated that his decision had been taken despite the willingness of Shell to accept the proposal and the “indications of cross community support”. This will no doubt further enrage the local groups who have objected to PEGG having named them as supporters of its proposal. The Western People was contacted last week by representatives of the Kilcommon GAA and the Glenamoy Community Angling Association. They stated that their organisation had not been canvassed to support PEGG's proposal and were outraged at having been listed as supporters.Further representations have been made to the Western People this week by groups listed as supporters of PEGG's proposal. Fis Muingi-Iorras Committee which is lobbying to secure and adapt the Old Muings Laces School as a small folk museum and heritage centre said their inclusion on PEGG's list of supporters for its proposal was without their knowledge or consent.''As such we do not express any opinions on politics or other groups, nor are we aligned to any other group. The Committee is run on a strict code of conduct. ''Committee members are drawn from the community and are entitled to their beliefs and opinions as individuals. They are also democratically entitled to express those opinions, however, in that context they do not speak for or influence the Fis na Muingi-Iorras Committee,'' the Committee stated. Killala GAA stated that it was surprised to see its inclusion as a supporter of the PEGG proposal. ''As a voluntary sporting organisation we depend on the support of the wider community, and any issue of such a partisan nature would have to be considered by a meeting of our members. We will not be making any further comment on the issue.''Killala Community Council said that PEGG's proposal was not discussed at any stage by them. The Community Council did not authorise anyone to speak on its behalf in relation to the matter either.''Whilst we earnestly wished that all problems concerned with the Bellanaboy project be resolved as quickly as possible but with the highest consideration for the safety health and welfare of all concerned.''The Chairperson for the Erris tourism group has also confirmed that that body did not meet at any time to discuss PEGG's proposal.Fine Gael Councillor, Seamus Weir, Mayo Co. Council, said he was shocked to see the Fine Gael Councillors of Mayo listed on PEGG's statement as supporters of their proposal. He said he felt it was important that politics was not dragged into the debate again. The Councillor has been contacted by a lot of other people who had been annoyed by the PEGG statement. ''As far as I am concerned I want to disassociate myself from that list of Mayo Fine Gael Councillors,'' he stated.A spokesperson for Erris Tourism also contacted the Western People to state that its members had not held any meeting to discuss the cutting up of the gas pipeline. “There has never been a vote taken on this issue and we are not happy to have been included in the list,” said the spokesperson.Editor’s Note: The Western People published the list of organisations and companies in good faith after we received it on Monday afternoon, October 24th, from the Pro-Erris Gas Group. In the last seven days we have received numerous telephone calls, letters and e-mails from representatives and members of the 41 organisations on the list, disassociating themselves with the PEGG initiative. The Western People is happy to clarify the position in respect of any organisation or individual who feels they have been misrepresented by the PEGG statement in recent weeks.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:09am