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The Connaught Telegraph (Ireland): “Let Shell to Sea not turn victory into defeat,” says Councillor Maloney

Issue No: 200633 
 
A FIANNA Fáil member of Mayo County Council has accused Dr. Mark Garavan and the Shell to Sea campaign of trying to turn victory into defeat for the people of Erris.

Councillor Jimmy Maloney said he could no longer stay silent after reading the comments of Dr. Garavan in last week’s The Connaught Telegraph which, according to the Foxford based elected representative, were totally unrepresentative of the people of Erris.

Councillor Maloney, who is former Cathaoirleach of Mayo County Council, said: “When the news came that Shell were finally going to move the pipeline, I thanked God because I believed this was the beginning of the end for this sorry saga which has been a terrible nightmare for the local people in Erris.

“The Rossport Five and the Shell to Sea group had won a remarkable victory and Shell had finally copped themselves on and were now prepared to listen to the local community. “However my hopes were dashed, not by Shell, but by Shell To Sea when I read the words of Dr. Garavan responding to The Connaught Telegraph’s sensible and straight talking comment on this issue.”

“It’s been 10 years now since this gas was discovered and since then we’ve had nothing but pain and grief. “I don’t like Shell anymore than Dr. Garavan but I’m realistic enough to know that we’re stuck with them and their stuck with us, so we have to work together.” 

“Who I do like and respect is Peter Cassells who is an honourable man who has spent his life fighting for workers. “That’s why I trust Mr. Cassells and when he says that finally the benefits can be brought to Erris, I believe him.”

“It is a fact that the building and the running of this gas station will give real opportunities for locals.”

“Hundreds of workers will be needed to build it, local contractors will see their plant and services required and local B&B’s and houses will be availed of for rent. For this to happen, Shell need to do what Mr Cassells lay out for them in his report.”

“Shell must give a public commitment to ensure local employment and services are guaranteed.”

“In terms of benefits to Mayo and the West in general, gas is coming to towns in this county sooner due to the actions of the Rossport Five, and this will be of great economic benefit for our future generations.”

“What is needed now is political leadership from all sides – both national and local level.”

“What is not needed or wanted by the people of Erris or Mayo is more negative talk out of Dr. Garavan. “In his tirade against The Connaught Telegraph, Mr Garavan said that the ‘same political and administrative forces that created the Corrib gas debacle’ can not be trusted with the task of finishing the job.

“Dr. Garavan needs to be reminded that he is not an elected official and therefore does not speak on behalf of or represent the people of Mayo.”

“It is very important that Shell decides on a new route for the Rossport part of the pipeline as soon as possible to end the any more uncertainty around this project.”

Having done so, they must not repeat the mistakes of the past. “They must talk to the people and more importantly they must listen to he people of Erris. Maybe then and maybe when the Shell to Sea group realise that the time to get on with the work is now, we will all see an end and a solution to this saga,” added Councillor Maloney.

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