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Truck still stuck amid protest

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Tensions continue to run high in Co Mayo as a truck carrying machinery for a controversial gas project remains stuck at a junction.

The 40m vehicle has been blocking a road near the Glenamoy Bridge in Erris since Tuesday morning after failing to negotiate a turn. But efforts to move it were suspended overnight due to protesters.

It was one of three trucks transporting parts of a large tunnel-boring machine, which is being used to dig a 4.9km (3-mile) tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay and inland to the Bellanaboy Gas Processing Terminal as part of Shell’s Corrib gas project.

A Shell E&P Ireland spokesman said: “Due to protester activity and safety considerations, attempts to remove the truck from the location and restore access to the road had to be suspended overnight.

“Access to the west side of the L1203 will be restored from 8.30 this morning. Shell E&P will continue to work with both the Gardai and Mayo County Council to resolve the situation.”

He said the organisation apologised for any inconvenience caused.

A group of protesters stayed at the site overnight but were kept at a distance from the truck by security blocking the road around it.

Con Coughlan, of the Rossport Solidarity Camp, said the recent road blockage was a further insult from Shell.

“We’ve had enough of this nonsense,” said Mr Coughlan. “How many more insults do they want to throw at us?”

He said campaigners were going on a fact-finding mission and will consider their next move – after the truck has been removed from the road. Mr Coughlan added there was no trouble through the night from protesters.

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