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Irish Independent: Rossport rally hears renewal of demands for gas base ‘at sea’

Irish Independent: Rossport rally hears renewal of demands for gas base ‘at sea’

“UP to 1,500 people attended a support rally in Belmullet for the five Co Mayo farmers who have been in prison for almost two weeks over their opposition to the Corrib gas pipeline.”

Monday July 11, 2005

UP to 1,500 people attended a support rally in Belmullet for the five Co Mayo farmers who have been in prison for almost two weeks over their opposition to the Corrib gas pipeline.

The rally, which was held in bright sunshine on Saturday, heard renewed calls for the controversial €300m gas terminal planned for Bellanaboy, north Mayo, to be located instead at sea.

Over 20 speakers addressed the rally, including Dr Mark Garavan, a lecturer at GMIT Castlebar, who said the jailed men, who he spoke to on Friday, were being placed under severe pressure from Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Council for the West to agree to the appointment of a binding mediator.

“They are being put under heavy pressure to agree to this but of course they won’t agree to this under any circumstances,” Mr Garavan said to loud applause.

He predicted that no high pressure pipeline will be laid into Rossport. “It’s time to listen to what the people have to say. The solution is simple, put the terminal at sea,” he said.

Martin Collins, spokesman for the Derrybrien Landslide Support Group in Co Galway, said there were important similarities between the Derrybrien and Rossport situations.

People thought it was about money and what one can gain financially, but he could say that he had nothing to gain from a windfarm at Derrybrien, and the Rossport Five and the Mayo community would not gain financially from the grains of salt that would fall from Shell’s table, he explained. Brid Ni Seighin, daughter of the jailed Micheal O Seighin, asked why Minister for the Gaeltacht, Community and Rural Affairs, Eamon O Cuiv, was not supporting the Rossport Five.

Tom Shiel

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