It is almost ten years since plans were unveiled for a gas processing facility at Bellanaboy in North Mayo. When permission was initially sought from Mayo Co Council for the gas terminal, the promoters of the Corrib project confidently predicted that gas would flow by late 2003. Last week's revelations confirm that Corrib is now a decade behind its initial schedule and millions of euro over budget.
Shell's plan to construct a tunnel through Sruwaddacon Bay to house the controversial supply line from the landfall to the terminal is optimistically expected to take at least two years. The project will be the subject of a lengthy oral hearing next month at which objectors will be able to voice their concerns about this latest effort to connect the nearly completed terminal with the actual gas field.
The problems that Shell are now encountering are the result of a series of decisions taken in the early part of the last decade by a Government that has subsequently been proven to have been, at best, incompetent and at worst, downright reckless.