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The Mayo News Online (Ireland): Council backs Rossport safety stance

Council backs Rossport safety stance


Stephen O’Grady

MEMBERS of Mayo County Council have reiterated their support for the Rossport Five, while simultaneously stressing the need to avail of the opportunities that the Corrib gas field offers.

Welcoming the publication of the Advantica report on the safety of the proposed gas pipeline at Monday’s monthly meeting, An Cathaoirleach Henry Kenny said that he hopes the report will represent ‘a stepping stone for communication and exchange of ideas’. “If the situation is not solved it will be a very black mark on our interests in inviting investors into the county.”

Fine Gael’s Paddy McGuinness highlighted how Cllr Kenny had stood his ground on behalf of the Council during his dealings on the issue. “I welcome the response of Shell,” he added. “It must be recognised that they have apologised and held out the olive branch.”

Cllr McGuinness also welcomed the response of the Rossport Five to the publication, particularly in the form of Micheal Ó Seighin. “You might even say they have secured a victory, but their fears about health and safety are sincerely held. This party won’t be part of any stampede to discredit their sincerely held views.”

Cllr McGuinness urged Mayo County Council to continue to contribute to an atmosphere of respect, trust and goodwill.

Fianna Fáil’s Pat McHugh commented that the Advantica report on the safety of the €900m project should be taken in context with ‘the times we are living in’. “By this I mean the increasing cost of energy and dwindling supply. That equation must concentrate our minds. The issue must be resolved in the interests of all. The common good demands that it be resolved, we can’t continue to rely on imported energy. It is untenable.”

Emphasising the importance of not exacerbating the situation, Cllr McHugh also highlighted the number of personnel that Shell now have on the ground ‘who are sensitive to the situation, and who have an empathy with the local community’.

Fianna Fáil election candidate, Cllr Frank Chambers, described the gas as “a natural and national resource important to the welfare of the State, with opportunities for Irish people into the future.”

However, he stressed that people’s health and safety should come first, but also urged the Government to avail of the current opportunity to deliver investment into the county and into north Mayo in particular.

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