“I experience it in every community [companies splitting communities]. It’s the same story whether it’s Erris (Co. Mayo), Leitrim, whether it’s the people threatened by fracking now; it’s exactly the same story. The same psychological war-fare is being got ready for them ..... God forgive companies for what they do to communities.”
1975: Minister for Commerce and Industry Justin Keating introduces licensing terms for offhsore exploration and production, including provision for 50% State participation
1987: Minister for Energy Ray Burke introduces new licensing terms, abolishing State royalties and State participation, and introduces 100% tax write-offs for exploration and development costs on 30 September, before return of Dáil
1992: Minister for Finance Bertie Ahern introduces 1992 Finance Act, reducing corporation tax on oil profits to 25%. Minister for Marine and Natural Resources Bobby Molloy introduces new licensing terms reflecting Burke's changes. Also so-called "Frontier Licenses" were introduced that allowed the oil companies up to 20 years to hold a license on a particular offshore block, i.e. a designated drilling location
January 1993: Enterprise Oil awarded deepwater exploration licence for block 18/20, which contains Corrib gas field
October 1996: Enterprise Oil discovers the Corrib gas field 80 kilometres off the northwest coast of Mayo. Enterprise Energy Ireland incorporated in Bahamas
April 2000: First notices of Corrib gas projects in Mayo newspapers
July 2000: Government passes Gas (Amendment) Act of 2000
September 2000: Bertie Ahern introduces Statutory Instrument 110, transferring powers over production pipelines from Department of Public Enterprise to Department of the Marine and Natural Resources
October, 2000: Bord Gais outlines plans to construct pipeline from North Mayo to Craughwell, Co. Galway, on behalf of the Corrib co-venturers—Enterprise, Statoil and Marathon.
November, 2000: Enterprise Energy Ireland (E.E.I.) applies for planning permission for an onshore terminal for Corrib at Bellanaboy, North Mayo.
January, 2001: Mayo Co. Council seeks more information from E.E.I. after local concerns are raised.
April, 2001: E.E.I. submits a new planning application for the onshore terminal.
June, 2001: Mayo Co. Council seeks further information on the second planning application for the onshore terminal.
July, 2001: E.E.I. sumits this further information. Meanwhile, the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources, Mr. Frank Fahey, hosts a public meeting on offshore licensing aspects of Corrib in Geesala, Co. Mayo.
August 3rd, 2001: Mayo Co. Council grants planning permission for the onshore terminal, with conditions. This is immediately appealed to An Bord Pleanála by residents and environmental groups.
August 24th, 2001: Minister Fahey, during a debate on Corrib gas, tells the Humbert Summer School in Ballina that the objectors are holding up progress in the west.
October, 2001: The Minister for the Marine denies claims made in the Dáil by Mayo Fine Gael TD, Michael Ring, that he has been interfering in the planning process in relation to the Corrib project.
2001 Budget, 25% Corporation Tax was reduced to 16.5% which will finally be reduced to 12.5% at the behest of the oil industry!
November 16th, 2001: Mr. Fahey issues a petroleum lease for Corrib gas field—the first new production lease in the last 30 years.
November 21st, 2001: E.E.I. submits new environmental impact statement to the Department of Marine and Natural Resources in support of application to construct a natural gas pipeline from sub-sea facilities to the terminal at Bellanaboy bridge. The company also applies for approval of its plan of development, a foreshore licence, and consent to construct the pipeline.
February, 2002: An Bord Pleanála opens its oral hearing in Ballina on the appeal against planning permission for the onshore terminal.
April, 2002: Mr. Fahey publishes Marine Licence Vetting Committee report which approved granting foreshore lease to Corrib project, with conditions.
May, 2002: Foreshore licence granted by Minister Fahey to E.E.I. shortly before he leaves office.
June, 2002: An Bord Pleanála requests further information on the onshore terminal application from E.E.I., now owned by Shell, and raises concerns about health and safety
July, 2002: Managing Director of E.E.I., Mr. Brian Ó Cáthain, resigns and is replaced by Mr. Andy Pyle, formerly of Shell.
September, 2002: E.E.I. submits further information to An Bord Pleanála and denies reports that it may “abandon” the Corrib field.
November, 2002: An Bord Pleanála holds unprecedented second oral hearing into the E.E.I. terminal application. The two oral hearings have now lasted 22 days, making them the second longest in the board’s history.
December, 2002: E.E.I. and former Minister Fahey deny claims in a Channel 4 news report that “huge pressure” was exerted on Mayo Co. Council’s planning office to grant permission for the controversial terminal. E.E.I. also refutes a suggestion that it has chosen a highly dangerous route for the 8km pipeline from the seashore to the termainl at Bellanaboy.
March, 2003: E.E.I. again denies claims that it intends to “plug” the Corrib Field for a period of 20 years.
April, 2003: An Bord Pleanála overturns Mayo Co. Council’s decision to grant planning permission for the gas terminal. E.E.I. expresses disappointment with the outcome and announces that it is now considering the future of the Corrib gas project.
September, 2003: Enterprise Energy Ireland announces that it intends to submit a new planning application to Mayo County Council for an onshore gas terminal.
December, 2003: A new planning application is submitted by E.E.I., now known as Shell E&P Ireland. It includes revised plans for the removal of large quantities of peat from the terminal site.
February, 2004: Former civil servant and ‘Irish Man of the Twentieth Century’, Mr TK Whitaker, expresses concerns over the plans for an onshore Corrib gas terminal. Mr Whitaker owns a holiday home in Bangor.
March, 2004: Mayo County Council requests further information from the company on a number of issues pertaining to the application. The information is submitted within weeks.
April, 2004: Mayo County Council grants planning permission subject to a total of 75 conditions. Objectors immediately indicate that they intend to appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanála.
October, 2004: Shell is granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for the Bellanaboy gas terminal. The company announces that work will commence immediately. Residents say they are disgusted with the decision.
January, 2005: Preparatory work for the removal of peat from the terminal site begins at Bangor. Shell publishes details of a traffic management plan for the duration of the work.
April, 2005: Proceedings are instituted in the High Court to prevent residents obstructing the construction of the gas pipeline at Rossport. The High Court grants Shell the right to access private lands in the village for the installation of the pipeline. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Shell employed a company of which it is a substantial shareholder to conduct an ‘independent’ audit of the pipeline’s safety.
June, 2005: Five residents from Rossport are jailed for contempt of court for refusing to obey the High Court order not to interfere with the construction of the Corrib gas pipeline. The men vow to stay in prison until they get justice.
Families and supporters of the Rossport Five commence round the clock picketing at Rossport, Bellinaboy and Glengad: Shell pipeline sites in Mayo.
July, 2005: National rallies held in support of the Rossport Five in Castlebar, Belmullet, Ballina, Dublin.
Natural Resources Minister Noel Dempsey orders a further safety review of the Corrib Gas pipeline with a view to ending the standoff between Shell and local residents in Co Mayo.
Minister Dempsey said Marine and Natural Resources Dept officials had carried out an inspection at the Shell onshore site and subject to further legal advice, it was his view that a serious breach of the consents given to Shell in relation to the pipeline had occurred. He ordered Shell to dismantle three kilometres of gas pipeline that it had assembled in north Mayo.
August, 2005: Marine and Natural Resources Minister, Noel Dempsey, granted Shell permission to lay the 75 kilometres of pipeline from the Corrib Field to the North Mayo coastline.
Shell E&P Ireland defers laying the offshore pipeline for the Corrib gas project until 2006. Shell said the temporary suspension ''will not materially affect the project's completion schedule'', and will ''allow for a period of discussion and dialogue''.
Shell announces that it is to lay off 128 workers at the Corrib gas pipeline in Co Mayo. National rally in support of the Rossport 5 held in Galway. Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources Noel Dempsey announces a further safety review.
September, 2005: Family and supporters visit Norway and meet Statoil and public representatives. Rossport Five appear before Mr Justice Finnegan in the High Court.
30 September, 2005: Shell drops temporary injunction. High Court President Mr Justice Joseph Finnegan releases the men.
1 October, 2005: Thousands rally in support of Rossport Five in Dublin.
12 October, 2005: A two-day public consultation organised by the Department of the Marine is held in Geesala, Co. Mayo
25 October, 2005: Rossport Five appear before Mr Justice Finnegan in the High Court
31 October, 2005: The Minister announced that he had appointed Mr Peter Cassells, a former general secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, to mediate between Shell E&P and the Rossport residents
Feb 17 2006 - Shell HQ in Dublin blockaded as part of national and international day of action
April 2006 - Rossport Solidarity Camp re-opens
Monday April 10 2006 - Shell to Sea block entry of Shell machinery at Bellanaboy
26 September - first attempt by Gardai to break pickets of Shell's construction site at Bellanboy fails
Tuesday October 3rd 2006 - Hundreds of Gardai brought into Erris to force Shell construction through in what is referred to as the effective occupation of the Bellanaboy area at the cost of millions of euro.
Nov 8 - Shell to Sea activists disrupt minister Dempsey at oil bosses conference in Dublin.
Fri Nov 10 2006 - Many injuries as Gardai baton charge protesters to force Shell convoy through, later the officer in charge would boast in the Gardai Review of how this was part of their no arrest strategy
Feb 24 2007 - National Shell to Sea demonstration in Dublin
Friday April 13 - Six arrests in Ballinaboy As 30 Enter Shell Site
27 April - Shell HQ in Dublin blockaded by Shell to Sea from early morning.
18 May - Shell HQ in Dublin again blockaded by Shell to Sea from early morning.
Tuesday June 5th 2007 - Lock on in front of Shell’s peat deposit site in Mayo.
June 11/12 - Gardai violently removed protesters attempting to stop the illegal instalment of a Shell portacabin on the land of publican Paddy McGrath near Pollathomais
14 June 2007 - Following several years of campaigning with Shell to Sea, Green Party TD Eamonn Ryan is appointed to the ministry with responsibility for the Corrib Gas project.
Weds October 24 2007 - Shell 2 Sea stop Shell drilling on the Special Area of Conservation at Glengad
Weds December 19 2007 - Shell of Sea protesters scale ministers office building for a banner drop reading 'Protect Irish Natural Resource'
22 July 2008 - 13 arrested at they try and halt construction of Shell compound at Glengad.
16 August 2008 - Rossport Solidarity Camp re-opens ahead of Shell's pipe laying operations
Thursday August 21st - 8 arrested as they attempt to halt pipe laying preparation, lives put under threat by the failure to halt construction despite the presence of people in hte ater nearby
September 2008: Solitaire arrives to begin pipe laying operations but the pipe laying apparatus becomes damaged and the ship withdraws halting construction for a year.
4th September - 8 arrested as Kayaks attempt to halt pipe laying preparation in Broadhaven bay
9th September - Solitaire arrives in Broadhaven bay. Maura Harrington begins hunger strike, Pat O'Donnell arrested to prevent him fishing the bay.
11th September - Solitaire forced to withdraw from Broadhaven bay after its pipe laying appartus became damaged. The previousday several people had been arrested while blocking roads and Pat O'Donell and his son had been arrested again to prevent them fishing the bay.
18 September 2008 - Solitaire forced to withdraw from Irish waters bringing a halt to the pipeline laying until the following summer.
11th March 2009 - Maura Harrington jailed for 30 days for resisting Shell. Dublin Shell to Sea supporters attempt to stop the prison van carrying her into Mountjoy prison. Solidarity protests held at the prison over the 30 days,.
April 1st-3rd Nets Shell erect to prevent Sand Martin's nesting at Glengad repeatedly removed by community.
Thursday April 13th - Willie Corduff attacked and hospitalised by several masked men in the dead of night while under a lorry at the Shell compound
April 16th - Michael Dwyer killed in Bolivia. He had gone to Bolivia as part of a group that included four others who had worked with him as security at the Shell compound in Bolivia.
Sunday April 26 - community unite to remove nets Shell had placed at the compound to stop Sand Martin's being able to enter their nexts.
Saturday May 9th - attempt to dismantle Shell's illegal compound ends in several arrests
Thursday May 14th - Tripods used to halt Shell construction on Glengad beach.
Monday May 18th - Maura Harrington again jailed for resisting Shell, prison van carrying her into Mounjoy prison is blocked by Dublin Shell to Sea protesters for 20 minutes.
June 5-8th: Dredging work in Broadhaven bay repeatedly stopped by protesters boarding the dredger. Gardai eventually destroy the protesters inflatable boats with knives as they had the previous summer.
June 11th At 2am on Thursday morning, Pat O'Donnell's boat the 'Iona Isle' was boarded by four masked men and sunk out at sea