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Irish Times: Opposition to Corrib gas project

Opposition to Corrib gas project
Irish Times; May 09, 2006

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Madam, – Firstly I would like to congratulate you for the unbiased and open view you have taken on the Corrib project so far and hope that this continues.

Now pardon my obvious stupidity but it was always my thinking that a person who did an engineering degree would have to be somewhat adept at maths. Clearly Shell's chief executive in Ireland, Andy Pyle, must be an exception to this rule.

He stated in his interview in your business section on Friday May 5th that there were 30-50 people locally who were actively against the Corrib gas project in its current format.

Now being from the area, I know that there is at least that number in my village alone. Anyone who has visited the area, watched the news or read your paper would know that also.

Is Mr Pyle's estimate like Shell's oil reserve estimates, grossly wrong?

Is it a policy of Shell to overestimate oil reserves while underestimating opposition to a project of theirs? It didn't work out too well in Nigeria.

Furthermore, after all the apologies last Thursday and after Shell's statement that all options were still on the table, Shell came out the following day and said that wasn't really true, that it only planned to take the same route. It is wrong of them to toy with the emotions of the local people by making false promises and using empty rhetoric.

I would love to think that Shell were openly and honestly trying to solve this situation while heeding the concerns of the local people. Recent events make that hard to believe.

The Minister, Noel Dempsey, recently stated that we wouldn't be happy until this project was abolished entirely.

We in the area want it to benefit the rest of the country just as much as he does, we just don't think it should mean endangering innocent people's lives along the way. – Yours, etc,

JOHN COYLE,

Knocknalower,

Co Mayo.

Madam, – The situation with regard to the Corrib field is very clear. Gas is needed in the Dublin area as over half the State's generating capacity is located here with gas the primary fuel.

Electricity generated here also goes to keep the lights on in northwest Mayo. Additionally, in the Dublin area gas heats homes and keeps the wheels of industry turning. That industry generates wealth, some of which fills the dole cheques of the huge proportion of the population in northwest Mayo that draws on the largesse of the State.

In return all that is being asked of a handful of landowners is that a narrow trench be dug over 70 metres from their residences. Into this will be dropped a 0.5 metre diameter pipe, constructed as thick as a gun barrel.

In six months the grass will have grown over and nobody will know the difference.

For this they will receive compensation. In other words, no different from the thousands of kilometres of high pressure gas pipelines criss-crossing the world.

If people do not wish to contribute to the technical infrastructure of the State then they should not receive its benefits ie, if they don't want the gas development in northwest Mayo then cut the electricity and the dole payments to the people concerned. – Yours, etc,

PAT SWORDS,

Hillcourt Road,

Gleanageary,

Co Dublin.

A Chara, – I read with interest your report that Shell have again dismissed the idea of an offshore processing platform for the Corrib gas field (“Offshore platform not viable, says Shell” – May 6th).

I am disappointed that Andy Pyle, Shell chief executive, seems to be able to get away with saying that he was prepared to discuss this option on Thursday and then contradicting himself on Friday.

There are already enough contradictions in the various reports produced on the Corrib gas field to raise serious environmental and safety concerns about this project, and it should really not be left up to vested interests to determine what is and isn't viable: it is far cheaper for a company like Shell to build the cheapest pipeline possible, and hire a PR company to spin on their behalf than it is to do things in the safest manner possible; so this is of course the route that they have chosen.

The first duty of the Government is to protect its citizens who may be put at risk by this pipeline, and I would like to voice my support for those who have stood in the face of the PR blitz and given voice to their most reasonable concerns. – Is Mise,

Senator MARY WHITE,

Seanad Eireann,

Dublin 2.

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