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Irish Independent: 45pc of voters oppose Shell terminal plan

Published: Oct 20, 2006

THE first independent opinion poll on the controversy over Shell’s plans to build a 200m terminal in north-west Mayo has revealed that almost half of voters in the county are opposed to the project.

A total of 45pc of voters sampled by new newspaper, the ‘Mayo Advertiser’, said they supported the campaign of lobby group ‘Shell to Sea’ to have the terminal moved offshore.

Just 15pc of those surveyed across the county said they supported Shell, but a significant 40pc said that they had no opinion on the controversy.

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Ltd, Dublin, sampled 400 voters across the county’s seven electoral areas. It showed a drop of 19pc for Fianna Fail, compared to the 2002 election figures and suggests the party will only win one seat next time out.

The Fine Gael vote is up 19pc and with 3.4 quotas, the party is in prime position to take three of the five seats on offer. But former Galway football manager, John O’Mahoney – tipped as the next Mayo manager – has polled poorly with just 3pc and faces an uphill struggle.

Meanwhile, gardai monitoring the Shell protest said that they will reduce their numbers if the protest by local people continues to be peaceful.

Chief Superintendent Tony McNamara, confirmed that the numbers on duty would be cut if the protests there continued without incident.

Almost 100 gardai are expected to be on duty again this morning to ensure workers travelling to the Shell terminal are allowed to get to their workplace without interference. A local group has maintained a daily protest since October 2.

Brian McDonald

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