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Irish Times: Corrib opponents warn of 'countdown to conflict'

Corrib opponents warn of 'countdown to conflict'
Lorna Siggins
Irish Times; May 04, 2006

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Opponents of the Corrib gas onshore pipeline in north Mayo have expressed “deep sadness” at the Minister's decisions and have warned of a “countdown to conflict” unless the project is reconfigured.

Shell E&P Ireland has welcomed the publication of the safety reports on the onshore pipeline and has said it will issue a full response “in the coming days”.

Dr Mark Garavan, spokesman for the five men jailed last year over opposition to the pipeline and the Shell to Sea campaign, said that the recommendations published yesterday were “irrelevant” to the resolution of the dispute in north Mayo. “We are still left with a production pipeline traversing a village and within 70 metres of some homes. Nothing has changed,” he said.

Micheal O'Seighin, who was jailed for more than three months along with four other Mayo men over their protests against the project, said they would continue their fight. “If the same situation applies then we will be forced to resist the imposition of a dangerous regime on our people and on our place, and that applies to the entire community now,” he said.

Mr O'Seighin said that while the Advantica report was very fine it was restricted in what it could examine. “The only one who has said that the people would be safe in the event of a rupture was Mr Dempsey,” he said.

Shell E&P Ireland and its partners, Statoil and Marathon, described the Advantica report as “very thorough and detailed”, and referred to the 700 jobs during construction of the gas terminal, and “over 50 permanent jobs” afterwards, in its statement.

“This project can only succeed in partnership with the local community,” the companies said.

Green Party energy spokeman Eamon Ryan TD said: “The Minister, for Communications Noel Dempsey and Shell will put a positive spin on the report but the reality is it provides a further indictment of the way that they have both managed this project.”

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