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Mayo News (Ireland): Corduff vows fight will go on (The Rossport Five)

Corduff vows fight will go on


Mayo News



Denise Horan


DAYS after being spared another stint in jail, the Rossport Five are adamant that they will continue to resist the laying of the Corrib Gas pipeline along its proposed route.


Speaking to The Mayo News on Monday, Willie Corduff, one of the five men who spent 94 days in Cloverhill Prison last summer for breaching a court order, vowed that the proposed gas pipeline is ‘not going to happen’ – unless Shell E&P alter their plans substantially.


“It’s very difficult to pin-point what my feelings are after Friday’s decision,” he said. “We were freed to an extent, but then the President of the High Court granted costs against us, without Shell even asking for them. They weren’t even represented in court.


“The bottom line is we will not lie down; we cannot, there’s too much at stake. We’d have to leave our homes if we were to accept this. We have to protect ourselves because no one else will,” he asserted.


“If they would agree to change their plans and carry out this project somewhere else, we could talk, but until they do that I don’t see how this can be resolved.”


Shell, meanwhile, welcomed Friday’s High Court decision, and expressed the hope in its immediate aftermath that the two sides could now engage in dialogue.


“Now that the legal issues surrounding lifting of the temporary injunction have been concluded, I hope that we can all move forward and that SEPIL can enter into a meaningful dialogue with the five objectors. We are fully committed to the mediation process being led by Mr Peter Cassells,” said Andy Pyle, Managing Director of SEPIL.


On Monday, however, relations between Shell and those opposed to the project further deteriorated with the former claiming their staff were once more prevented from working on the controversial site.


“SEPIL staff have again been prevented from accessing the Bellanaboy site today. A truck attempting to deliver equipment required to install water treatment equipment was refused access by Shell to Sea protestors, as well as a number of protestors believed to be from the Rossport Solidarity Camp. This behaviour is irresponsible and unreasonable and SEPIL calls on all involved to allow these environmental works to be carried out unhindered.” a statement from the company issued on Monday evening read.


Shell to Sea campaigner, Maura Harrington, remained entrenched in her views on Monday, however, and pledged her commitment to opposing the gas project in its current form.


“Personally, I will never sit across a table from Shell,” she said. “The time for dialogue was six years ago, not now, and they can’t make that retrospective.”


Asked if she welcomed the decision not to return the five Rossport men to jail, she responded in the negative.


“I don’t welcome anything that involves Shell in any way. The only thing I’d welcome is seeing Shell going across the ‘Corick Bridge and never coming back,” she said.


The Shell to Sea Campaign is holding a Solidarity Walk this Friday, Good Friday, starting at 12pm at the home of Willie and Mary Corduff and ending at Rossport Pier.


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