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Irish Times: Shell pipeline protesters walk to Dublin

By: Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent, Irish Times
Published: Jul 31, 2006

Shell to Sea campaigners have set out on a walk to Dublin to highlight their concerns, and among walkers on yesterday’s second leg from Bellanaboy to Bellacorick was marathon runner Patricia Murphy, who had climbed Croagh Patrick first in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Meanwhile, Shell E&P Ireland’s legal action against north Mayo landowners is due back in the High Court today when Ms Justice Mary Laffoy rules on aspects of the case’s full hearing in the autumn.

The ruling on a series of applications relating to the Corrib onshore gas pipeline will be delivered irrespective of whether Shell decides to withdraw its own legal action in light of the proposal to modify the pipeline route.

The company is expected to signal its intentions to review the route shortly, following last week’s recommendation by Government mediator Peter Cassells that it should be modified in the vicinity of Rossport village.

Three legal teams will receive the Laffoy ruling, which will deal with Shell’s permanent injunction application against six named parties – landowners Willie Corduff, BrId McGarry, Philip McGrath, Brendan Philbin, Monica Muller and environmentalist Peter Sweetman.

Paraic Ferry, solicitor for Mr Corduff and Mr McGrath, said the ruling would be important in determining applications for discovery of documents, ministerial consent issues and the order in which issues will be dealt with in October – if Shell pursues its application. A spokesman for Shell said yesterday it would be in court today and could not comment further.

A separate legal action has been filed by Ms McGarry, the largest landowner on the current route, and Mr Philbin, in which they are seeking to join the Minister for Marine and Natural Resources and the State in their counter claim.

Ms McGarry said any route change would not address the “fundamental flaws” in the project, principally location of the onshore terminal at Bellanaboy, which is the reason for the 9km pipeline.

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