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Farmer told to remove Rossport camp from lands

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

Mayo: A north Mayo farmer who recently offered a camp site to opponents of the Corrib gas project has been issued with an enforcement notice alleging planning breaches by Mayo County Council.

Mayo county secretary John Condon confirmed yesterday that the notice had been issued under the Planning and Development Act 2000 as the “first stage” in legal proceedings. If no action was taken, penalties could be imposed by a court, Mr Condon said. Possible penalties range from fines of over €12,000 to two years in prison.

Aughoose farmer Gerry Bourke, who offered the Rossport Solidarity Camp the use of one of his fields three weeks ago, said he had been given until May 17th to remove the tents and had been directed to restore the land to its original state.

Mr Bourke said he had no problem with obeying the law if it was “evenly applied”. He said that the local authority had taken no action over a temporary compound and fencing erected by the Corrib gas developers for the onshore pipeline works between Aughoose and Glengad.

Separately, the company providing security for the gas project confirmed it has initiated an internal investigation into an incident earlier this month which involved damage to a hotel bedroom. It is understood two off-duty staff with Integrated Risk Management Services were involved in a row in the Western Strands Hotel, Belmullet.

The two were suspended, and a spokesman for the company said this followed a “minor incident” which caused “minimal damage to a hotel bedroom”.

Posted Date: 
22 May 2012