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Irish Times: Shell appoints Mayo journalist to advise on Corrib gas project

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Feb 14, 2006
Shell E&P Ireland has appointed a prominent Mayo journalist, Christy Loftus, as its new external affairs adviser for the controversial Corrib gas field project.
Mr Loftus, a native of Newport, Co Mayo, has been a senior journalist with the Western People for the past 28 years. He has chaired the executive council of the NUJ and was a president of the union from 1999 to 2000.
Mr Loftus is a former secretary and chairman of the Mayo GAA board, a founding member and chair of the South West Mayo Development Company and a board member of Meitheal Mhaigh Eo.
In a statement yesterday, Shell also highlighted the fact that Mr Loftus was a member of the Mayo 2000 group, which campaigned in the late 1990s to bring the Corrib gas find ashore to Mayo, and also lobbied the EU for Objective One status for the western counties.
He is a member of the Mayo County Community Forum, a member of Mayo County Council's Housing Strategic Policy Committee and stood, unsuccessfully, as an independent candidate for Mayo County Council in the Westport area elections in June 2002.
Mr Loftus is the second journalist to be recruited by the multinational's Irish branch in recent months. It has already appointed former RTE and BBC journalist John Egan to its public affairs division.
Mr Loftus said in the company's statement that he was a supporter of bringing the Corrib gas find ashore.
“Shell recognises that it has a huge amount of work to do to rebuild the trust and confidence of the people of Rossport and the wider community in Erris. I hope I can play some role in helping to restore trust, rebuild relationships and support Shell's goal to work in partnership with the local community.”

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