25 January 2006

Shell delegation in Co Mayo for pipeline talks

RTÉ

25 January 2006 12:56



A four-man delegation from the Royal Dutch Shell Company is in Co Mayo for discussions on the controversial €900 million Corrib Gas Project.

The four non-executive directors include the former Dutch Prime Minister Vim Kok, the chairman of the company's Social Responsibility Committee, which travels to locations where Shell projects are the subject of local controversy or opposition.

The delegation met the Chairman of Mayo County Council, Henry Kenny, and seven local councillors behind closed doors in Belmullet this morning.

They are hoping to meet local residents and landowners not opposed to the pipeline in the afternoon.

It is understood that the Shell to Sea campaign group, which is opposed to the building of a high pressure gas pipeline from the Corrib field, has declined an invitation to meet the Shell board members.

The group said it decided not to meet the delegation as formal mediation talks had not yet got under way with Shell and any meeting today would be premature.

A spokesman for Shell said the delegation was on a fact-finding mission to get a deep understanding of local attitudes to the project and would be reporting back to the company.

He stressed that, as non-executive directors, the men had no decision making function, but would be outlining the views of all of those they met in Belmullet today.

The delegation will travel to Dublin tomorrow where it hopes to meet Mayo TDs in Leinster House.

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