22 September 2005

Residents to voice concerns over controversial gas pipeline


22/09/2005 - 18:03:21

A two-day public hearing will be held in Mayo for local residents and communities to voice their views on the controversial onshore pipeline and refinery planned for the Corrib Gas Field, the Government announced today.

The hearing, which is set to take place in late October, will be chaired by senior counsel John Gallagher, an eminent Mayo-born lawyer who sits on the Mediation Council of Ireland.

The Corrib Technical Advisory Group is also implementing a scheme to allow people to put written submissions to Advantica, the company which is carrying out the safety review of the pipeline.

Consultants from Advantica are today visiting the Corrib pipeline site as part of their safety review, which was commissioned on the back of protests about the project’s construction.

The Rossport Five were imprisoned more than 12 weeks ago for refusing to obey a High Court order stopping them protesting against the pipeline, which was being laid though their lands.

The Department for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources said Minister Noel Dempsey was conscious that people who had views on the pipeline should have the opportunity to express them.

The department is calling for residents, local communities and any interested parties to make submissions to the group as early as possible.

But Shell to Sea, the protest group which wants the onshore pipeline and refinery abandoned in favour of an offshore processing plant, said it would not be participating in the safety review process.

Spokesman Mark Garavan said: “We see it as looking at very narrowly defined questions.

“A hearing into a narrow technical set of questions is not going to advance the situation.”

Submissions can be made to the Corrib Technical Advisory Group Office of the Chief Technical Advisor, Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2, fax: 01 678 2659, e-mail: Corrib.TAG@dcmnr.gov.ie, by 5.30pm on Friday, October 28, 2005.

All written submissions will be published on the department’s website.

Any submissions already made since the advisory group was established on August 10 are being considered so resubmission is not necessary.

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