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Irish Independent: Rossport Five campaigners stage sit-in at council meeting

Irish Independent: Rossport Five campaigners stage sit-in at council meeting

“There is a lot of concern about the danger to life and limb posed from bringing the gas overland. I would certainly not like it passing near my backyard,”

Thursday Aug 04, 2005

CAMPAIGNERS against Shell’s Corrib pipe-line staged a sit-in at Mayo Co Council offices yesterday in a bid to force an emergency council meeting.

The demonstration caused further embarrassment over the pipe-line controversy for Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny, whose brother Henry is the council’s cathaoirleach.

Earlier this month, Cllr Kenny overturned a motion calling on Shell to process the gas from the Corrib field offshore.

The protestors only ended their sit-in after five councillors provided their signatures for a petition calling for an emergency meeting of the council, at which a re-worded motion is expected to be considered.

One of the signatories, Labour Party Councillor Johnny Mee, said there was a lot of concern about the controversial pipeline.

“There is a lot of concern about the danger to life and limb posed from bringing the gas overland. I would certainly not like it passing near my backyard,” said Cllr Mee, whose name appeared on the petition alongside those of an independent councillor and three Fianna Fail councillors.

Up to 20 people – including relatives of five Ross-port men jailed over their protests against the pipeline – began a sit-in at the Castlebar offices yesterday after talks with the cathaoirleach, who refused to seek the emergency meeting

Last month he deemed as ‘not standing’ an unopposed motion calling on Shell to process the gas from the Corrib field off-shore.

Also present at yesterday’s demonstration was Independent Mayo TD Dr Jerry Cowley, who said he believed that Fine Gael had done “terrible harm” to itself on the issue.

It emerged yesterday that Taoiseach Bertie Ahern’s secretary wrote back to Mayo county councillors seeking a meeting with Mr Ahern, saying he was too busy to meet them now.

Ben Quinn

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