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Mayo resident may inspect location of Shell pipeline

Saturday, July 11, 2009

LORNA SIGGINS, Western Correspondent

A NORTH Mayo resident has been given permission by Shell EP Ireland to carry out up to two inspections of its controversial landfall location for the Corrib gas pipeline.

The inspections of the location, close to Colm Henry’s home at Glengad beach, have been granted in advance of a full Circuit Court hearing in October into the Corrib gas project works at the landfall in Broadhaven Bay.

Mr Henry had sought an injunction at Galway Circuit Court yesterday in a hearing before Judge Raymond Groarke.

In the injunction application, he had sought to stop further works at the landfall valve installation, which is designed to limit pressure from the offshore pipeline if the installation is approved by An Bord Pleanála.

He has also sought an injunction restraining the defendants, Shell EP Ireland, from conducting further works along two specified locations on the pipeline route and restraining the defendants or its agents from videotaping or harassing him at or near Pollathomas.

Mr Henry also sought an order directing the defendant to restore the beach at Glengad, near Pollathomas, to its original condition and restraining the defendant or agents from committing further “acts of nuisance” at or near the landfall valve installation at Pollathomas.

When the hearing opened yesterday, Diarmuid Connolly, barrister for Mr Henry, advised the judge that it would be a complex case and that both parties were trying to come to an understanding to facilitate a smooth hearing in October which, he said, could last eight to 10 days. The judge said having read some of the papers in the case, his understanding was that the plaintiff’s concerns related to the manner in which the work was conducted so far and what the result would be when completed.

Barrister for Shell John Kiely said he was also working to make the matter as efficient for the courts as possible, but he said very serious allegations had been made about Shell by the plaintiff and he wanted them put on the record.

The judge agreed some time for both parties to consult as he said he didn’t “want a game of tennis to start with a practice match”.

After several hours of discussion, the parties informed the judge they had reached agreement on some of the issues. A consent order dated July 10th, 2009, stated that the defendant agreed to permit Mr Henry to have up to two inspections of the landfall site within the steel fence as per a photograph provided.

The order said the plaintiff would give two weeks notice to the defendant of the inspection and would communicate names and addresses of the persons involved.

The order said that the inspection would be confined to matters at issue in the civil bill. The two parties also agreed to an order and cross order for discovery. The interlocutory injunction sought by Mr Henry would be adjourned until the full hearing of the action, it was agreed.

This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times

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