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BBC News: Gas pipeline protesters released

BBC News: Gas pipeline protesters released

Posted Saturday 1 October 2005

Five men jailed for protesting against the construction of a gas pipeline in County Mayo have been freed from jail.

Shell took out an injunction against the men, known as the Rossport Five, when they refused to halt the protest at the Corrib gas development site.

They spent 94 days in jail for obstructing construction work in breach of a court order.

The injunction has now been lifted. A judge is to decide next month if the men will be punished for contempt.

Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan said the injunction no longer served a useful purpose.

The men were jailed after protests at the site of Shell’s proposed gas refinery at Bellanaboy in Erris, County Mayo.

Locals said a high-pressure pipeline to pump unrefined gas from the Corrib Field in the Atlantic Ocean to the new terminal inland would pose a “serious safety and environmental risk”.

However, Shell strenuously denied the claim and said the pipeline was completely safe.

The High Court in Dublin heard on Friday that work on the pipeline had stopped while a safety review was carried out and the onset of bad weather would make work impossible anyway.

The men have apologised for the situation in which they found themselves.

Supporters and relatives who gathered at the site of the planned gas terminal at Bellanaboy said they were “absolutely delighted” with the development.

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