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Irish Independent: Pipe protests are costing fuel giant 100,000 a day

Irish Independent: Pipe protests are costing fuel giant 100,000 a day

“Last week, Minister Noel Dempsey said he believed that the company had breached the permissions it was granted and had asked Shell for an immediate response, which is currently being considered by the minister.”

Saturday July 30, 2005

PROTESTS over the laying of a controversial pipeline in Co Mayo are costing oil giant Shell 100,000 a day, the company claimed yesterday.

Announcing 56 redundancies, bringing the total number of people laid off by the company to 91 this week – after Tuesday’s laying off of 35 workers – the company said its workers had not been able to access sites due to ongoing protests. And it warned that further jobs could be lost unless work can go ahead.

In a statement yesterday Shell said that following consultations with sub-contractor SICIM-Roadbridge, it had decided that 56 workers involved in engineering and land works at four sites within the project were to be made redundant.

“We will be meeting with other contractors in the coming days to re-assess prospects for any progress on non-pipeline work,” Operations Manager Mark Carrigy said.

“I appeal to the protesters to discontinue their obstruction of these sites and allow an orderly departure of workers and equipment to take place.” These include the installation of end caps on pipes, stabilisation of pipe supports and environmental issues. Five men remain in prison for contempt of court after obstructing work on the pipeline. Local protesters said they are still opposed to the location of the 300m terminal and believe the gas should be refined at sea.

Last week, Minister Noel Dempsey said he believed that the company had breached the permissions it was granted and had asked Shell for an immediate response, which is currently being considered by the minister.

Approximately 300 people are employed on the project in Mayo, with an additional 50 in Dublin.

“We will be reviewing the situation with our contractors in regard to the other workers in the coming days,” the company said.

Paul Melia

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