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Irish Times: Cassells to ask Shell to clarify its plans

Cassells to ask Shell to clarify its plans
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Irish Times; May 12, 2006

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The Government's Corrib gas pipeline mediator Peter Cassells is to ask Shell E&P Ireland today to clarify its position on alternative plans for the project in the light of conflicting statements from the company over the past week.

Mr Cassells, the former Irish Congress of Trade Union secretary general, agreed to seek the clarification with the company after a meeting in north Mayo yesterday with the five men jailed for 94 days last year over their opposition to the pipeline.

In an agreed statement issued after the two-hour meeting, Mr Cassells and the five men said the talks were a follow-up to a meeting two weeks ago at which the men accepted the ground rules for mediation published recently.

“At the meeting, the five confirmed that they are prepared to enter talks and to continue with the mediation process,” the statement said. “Before proceeding further, the Rossport five have asked the mediator to obtain clarification from Shell that it will seriously consider all concepts and routes for the Corrib project. The mediator will hold separate discussions with the managing director of Shell, Andy Pyle, tomorrow.”

Mediation between Shell and the Rossport five resumed last month after a suspension of talks – sparked by comments made by Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey. In ground rules published by Mr Cassells on March 25th, he outlined his overall task as to “reconcile the two interests of bringing the gas in the Corrib gasfield to market and ensuring safety”. He proposed that “all developments concepts and all routes should be considered in mediation and that the parties may set down non-negotiable issues”.

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