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Irish Times: Greens approve call for new report on Corrib terminal site

Oct 25, 2006
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent

A compromise solution to the Corrib gas dispute which might involve relocating the gas terminal has been endorsed by Green Party leader Trevor Sargent and Fianna Fail Mayo councillor Frank Chambers.

Both public representatives have criticised last week’s comments by Minister for the Marine Noel Dempsey about the Shell to Sea campaign, which they have described as “very unhelpful”.

The Green Party leader was speaking after a fact-finding visit to north Mayo over the last 48 hours, during which he met representatives of Shell E&P Ireland, Shell to Sea and Mayo County Council.

Mr Sargent said Shell needed to take a far more transparent approach to its commitment to implementing recommendations made by Government mediator Peter Cassells.

He also said a compromise proposed earlier this month by former Bord Gais engineering manager Leo Corcoran and Galway-based chartered engineer Brian Coyle should be acted upon, provided the local community is central to discussions.

Mr Corcoran and Mr Coyle called on the Minister for the Marine to commission a report from Advantica consultants on the “optimum location” for the gas terminal, which they believe to be central to the dispute over the onshore pipeline.

Work at Bellanaboy should be suspended and protests stood down in the interim, they say.

Mr Corcoran has already prepared a complaint for An Taisce, lodged with the European Commission, over the consents issued for the onshore pipeline by former marine minister Frank Fahey.

Both engineers believe Bellanaboy unsuitable as a terminal site for reasons including its proximity to the water supply for Erris in Carrowmore lake, but state Advantica should look at all locations, including Bellanaboy.

Mr Dempsey has so far not responded to the proposal, which was published on An Taisce’s website three weeks ago, while Shell E&P Ireland says it is not for it to comment upon.

In a statement, Shell to Sea said it welcomed the efforts of public representatives to assist in resolving the Corrib gas conflict: “We reiterate our position that we wish to resolve this conflict so that the health and safety of local people can be assured.”

Decision to locate gas terminal at Bellanaboy a mistake: page 16

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