Skip to main content

Second reading - second opinion

Monica Muller - Letter to the Mayo News

Dear Sir,

I quite agree with Mr Hegarty's assertion that 'Corrib coverage should come with more balance.' Unfortunately, Mr Hegarty does not believe that it applies to him too.

While his article is very flowery in language, it is short of facts.  The abnormal load haulage of the tunelling machine was not carried out  in compliance with the Permit haulage route restrictions and  was in breach of the Traffic Management Plan approved haulage route.

Yet, Mr Hegarty criticizes The Western People editorial  for its editorial  "claimed that Shell has ‘been allowed to effectively flout the planning laws in Erris during the past decade’." I gladly forward the Mayo News a letter from then Minister Dempsey to the Corrib developers where he confirms breaches of applicable legislation. Happily ignored by Mr. Hegarty or maybe just dismissed by him?

Mr Hegarty's treats your readers to a The Oxford Dictionary lecture of the definition of 'flout': as ‘treat or behave with disdain, mock, jeer, express contempt by action or speech, to openly disregard a law or an opinion’. Yet forgetting how he treated local people with disdain, jeer, contempt and open disregard to others opinion at the ABP oral hearing:
“It was my conviction then, and it remains my conviction, there is something unhealthy for our democracy at the heart of the opposition to this project.”

I can't recall that any submission made by any other party (including Shell) that contained any such unwarranted personal insult overstepping the mark of common courtesy.  

If it wasn't for the people who Mr Hegarty has such contempt for and deemed 'unhealthy'  there wouldn't have been any assessment of the Corrib gas project starting with the first applications in 2000 (in fact there wouldn't have been a community fund at all, fact is that his position of decision maker of who gets student grants is due to the 'unhealthy opposition).

I agree with Mr Hegarty's statement: "What was also missing from last week’s coverage was any recognition of the economic benefits that the Corrib project has brought to Erris. I live there so I am well aware of them.

I live here too and would like nothing more than have a debate about the economic benefits of oil and gas in Irish territory.  Yes, let's have a public discourse about the economic benefits of the Corrib gas project as part of the Irish oil and gas policies to the Irish people in the Mayo News for the benefit of your readers.

It greatly distressed me that Mr Hegarty has not accepted that courtesy, robust discussion and tolerance of opinions he may not like or not understand is part of  " protracted and forensic examination ". 

Mr Hegarty's intemperate use of language criticizing opinion he does not like: "lurid embroidery in their coverage of the lorry bound for the Corrib Gas terminal at Bellanaboy which got stuck at Glenamoy junction." diminished and contributes to the damaged Irish reputation of a lightly regulated economy.

I believe Ireland’s reputation as a lightly regulated economy is precisely what has got us into so much trouble in the first place. We need to repair the damage done by our “light touch” reputation. We need to be seen as having a regulatory environment that takes investigations seriously, proceeds with them expeditiously and punishes wrongdoing effectively. If there had been protection for whistleblowers, we may have been spared the worst of the negligence and recklessness that brought down our banking system.' and may be is responsible for the 12 years of protracted Corrib gas project struggle.


Monica Muller
Rossport South, Ballina

Posted Date: 
22 August 2012