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Forum on Corrib gas has flaws, says Ryan

Lorna Siggins, The Irish Times

Friday, May 7, 2010

MINISTER FOR Energy Eamon Ryan has acknowledged the Government’s forum on the Corrib gas dispute “hasn’t been working as well as it should have”, but said it would continue its efforts in north Mayo.

“It hasn’t worked as informally as we’d have liked,” Mr Ryan said. “We have to see how we can initiate a bottom-up rather than top-down approach to encourage real engagement.”

Mr Ryan is to attend tomorrow’s session of the forum, along with new Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Pat Carey and Minister for Social Protection Éamon Ó Cuív.

The forum was initiated by Mr Ryan and Mr Ó Cuív in December 2008, under the chairmanship of former Department of Justice secretary general Joe Brosnan, in an effort to address difficulties with the Corrib gas project.

However, two key community groups in the Kilcommon parish and Shell to Sea have refused to attend due to the terms of reference. Mr Ó Cuív is expected to give his assessment of progress when he hands over responsibility to Mr Carey tomorrow.

The agenda includes an update on the project by Shell EP Ireland, an update on socioeconomic commitments and a review of the forum’s future development.