"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Shell to Sea members have challenged Ministers Ryan and Ó Cuív to ensure the dismantling of 92 metres of pipe which has been laid onshore at Glengad without any planning, as stated by An Bord Pleanála . They also called for the resignation of Bob Hanna of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG), within Eamon Ryan's Department, for his completely inappropriate attempt to unduly influence the board at a time when the application is under consideration and the board is not accepting submissions.
Yesterday afternoon, Wednesday February 3, members of Shell to Sea met Ministers Eamon Ryan and Eamon Ó Cuív in Leinster House to discuss issues arising from the An Bord Pleanála letter of November 2, which exposed huge safety issues with Shell's application for an onshore pipeline.
This follows on from Tuesday's extension of the deadline for Shell to submit further information to An Bord Pleanála, which has been condemned by campaigners as facilitation of Shell, who received the extension despite their clear inability to provide the board with a safe design for their onshore pipeline.
Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway said: “The Ministers have often called on us to respect the law, but their calls sound hollow when they refuse to act in matters where the law has been broken themselves. Shell have no planning for the 92 metres of onshore pipe at Glengad, and An Bord Pleanála have acknowledged this fact, yet the Ministers continue to do nothing when faced with this breach of the law by Shell.”
“When part of the pipe was illegally laid near Bellenaboy in 2005, it was broken up after the fact that it was illegal emerged – there is clear precedent for this, and we call again on the Ministers to ensure that the illegal pipe at Glengad is removed.”
He continued: “Bob Hanna's intervention was completely inappropriate at this time, and certainly gives a very strong impression of undue pressure being put on An Bord Pleanála by Minister Ryan's Department. He should certainly not be lobbying for lower safety standards in this matters. If the Minister is really serious in stating that An Bord Pleanála's independence needs to be respected, he should join us in calling for the resignation of Bob Hanna.”
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St.John Ó Donnabháin (participant in the meeting)
Notes for editors
 Letter from An Bord Pleanála – Point 3 refers to the absence of information for 92 metres from the High Water Mark to the Landfall Valve Installation at Glengad http://www.pleanala.ie/
 How much is enough for Shell? Oil giant made E25 million a day profit in 2009 http://www.shelltosea.com/