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Press Release: Safety concerns prompt massive objection to Shell planning application

Issued by Shell to Sea - Wednesday, 28th July 2010

Safety concerns prompt massive objection to Shell planning application

--- While seven arrested this morning protecting Sruwaddacon ---


Yesterday a delegation of residents handed in their objections to An Bord Pleanála and Eamon Ryan regarding Shell's latest plan to put a raw gas pipeline close to homes and through the Special Protected Area (SPA) of Sruwaddacon estuary.


In other news, seven people were this morning arrested while delaying drilling work in Sruwaddacon.  Work was delayed for two hours by campaigners who used a rope to block the progress of Shell's drilling platforms, as part of the community's 'Beat the Boreholes' campaign.


Most of the objections formed part of the community submission signed by 305 people from the affected area. Individual objections were also made but the cost of making a submission - €50 – has led to claims that the An Bord Pleanála process is undemocratic. If every resident who signed the community submission had paid for their own, An Bord Pleanala would have netted €15,250.

Shell is currently conducting drilling survey boreholes in the Sruwaddacon estuary, which has led locals to ask why the planning application has been submitted before environmental and engineering survey work is complete.


Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway said: "It beggars belief that after all the time that this project has taken, that An Bord Pleanála are happy to look at Shell's application before the company has the information they need!  How can they decide if it's safe build a pipe under Sruwaddacon before they even know what kind of rock and other materials they're working with?"


It emerged in May that oil and gas service company Transocean, which built the Gulf of Mexico disaster rig Deepwater Horizon, also built the Corrib gas wellhead [1]. This has led to even more safety concerns and prompted some of the objections to An Bord Pleanala. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been called the USA’s worst environmental disaster. An article in The New York Times on July 21 claimed that alarm systems on the Deepwater Horizon rig were turned off and highlighted a number of safety breaches [2].


Terence Conway, who was also in the group of residents that traveled to Dublin to hand in the community submission, said, ‘The Gulf of Mexico disaster vindicates the position of the local community that this pipeline is unsafe and big oil companies will always cut corners and put profit ahead of people’s lives.’




For further information or comment please contact:


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Terence Conway 086 086 6264

Maura Harrington 087 9591474


Notes for editors:

1. Gulf oil spill firm to deploy rig off west coast

2. Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety