"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
Work was disrupted at the Corrib gas project in north Co Mayo yesterday when up to 70 protesters staged a blockade, writes Lorna Siggins.
Earlier this week, residents on the southern side of Sruwaddacon estuary, where the onshore pipeline works are continuing, removed road signs from the L1202 road.
Shell EP Ireland has drawn up a traffic management plan for the final stage of the project, but residents have said that the plan does not allow for the impact of Garda and security escorts.
Supt Patrick Diskin of Belmullet Garda station said he had received no complaints on the road issue, and said he wished to place on record the co-operation which the Garda had received from motorists.
He denied residents’ claims that there were road closures and also denied there were “temporary restrictions”, as had been attributed to him by this newspaper yesterday.
"Gardaí on duty stop traffic temporarily in the interest of safety to all road users when large haulage vehicles are approaching/departing Glengad," Supt Diskin said.
The project work compounds are at Aughoose and Glengad on the L1202, with a 4.9km tunnel planned for laying between these two locations on
Supt Diskin also said he had responded to a request from Pobal Chill Chomain spokesman John Monaghan last year to discuss the traffic management issue, but had received no response to his email.
Mr Monaghan said he welcomed the offer, but had not received the email - which could be due to an address change, he said.