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Press Release: An Bord Pleanála integrity under scrutiny - Ryan's Dept attempts to influence board

An Bord Pleanála today granted Shell E&P Ireland a 4-month extension to the previous deadline for submission of further information on Shell's application for an onshore pipeline in Erris, Co. Mayo. The deadline had previously been February 5, and has now been extended to May 31. This marks a continuation of efforts by the board to facilitate Shell and their Corrib gas project against the wishes of the local community, and despite huge concerns over issues of safety and the giveaway of Irish natural resources.

Campaigners have reacted angrily to these developments, which are seen as further efforts to enable Shell's construction of the onshore pipeline.

In other news, it has emerged that officials from Minister Éamon Ryan's department have written to An Bord Pleanála stating that they have concluded that 'the Corrib gas pipeline meet[s] all relevant safety standards and codes'[1].  This marks a clear attempt to intimate that An Bord Pleanála are failing by not following the Technical Advisory Group's (TAG) opinion, and allowing permission for Shell's onshore pipeline, and to influence the board to ignore the potentially massive repercussions of an accident during their deliberations.

Shell asks for more time to resolve Corrib gas issues

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

SHELL EP Ireland has asked An Bord Pleanála for more time to resolve issues relating to the Corrib gas pipeline.

The lead Corrib gas developer was given a deadline of next Friday for revised information, following An Bord Pleanála’s direction that up to half of the proposed onshore route was unsafe.

The company was also required to submit a revised environmental impact statement by Friday.

An Bord Pleanála and The Garda Ombudsman criticise Shell and the Gardaí respectively

Michael McCaughan - Village Magazine

An Bord Pleanála (ABP) has rejected the proposed route for the Corrib pipeline as “unacceptable” on safety grounds. The ruling was unequivocal: houses along the route were “within the hazard range of the pipeline should a failure occur”, while “design documentation” and “risk assessment” fail to “present a complete, transparent and adequate demonstration that the pipeline does not pose an unacceptable risk to the public”. The decision also noted the Shell failed to include part of the onshore pipeline route in its application. The ruling vindicated a ten-year campaign which has seen local residents become experts on complex, technical aspects of gas production, while they also learnt a thing or two about state persecution and political treachery.

While An Bord Pleanála's statement clearly dismissed the project in its current form, it also contained a disturbing conclusion, that “provisionally” the board would “approve the proposed onshore pipeline development should certain 'alterations' be made”.

Shell must respond by February 2010 but their options are limited as the company has already discounted alternative routes on financial and environmental grounds.

Human rights group calls for suspension of Corrib gas project

Mayo Advertiser

Human rights organisation Afri is calling for a suspension of all work on the Corrib gas project pending an independent and comprehensive investigation of its safety, human rights, economic and environmental dimensions. Afri is asking people to sign a petition to that effect, which will be delivered to the government next month. The petition was launched by former UN assistant secretary-general Denis Halliday this week.

Dennis Halliday, Benny McCabe & Andy Storey (Photo - Michael Gallagher -

Sign the petition online here:

In Memory of Val Dazzle, who has passed away.

Shell to Sea

Val Jones from London and the UK Rising Tide organisation, better known as Val Dazzle to her friends and colleagues, died on Tuesday 5th January from Motor Neurone Disease after a long and difficult battle with the illness. Val lit a big spark in the UK and ignited a passion there for the Rossport struggle. She was 60 years young.

Funeral Arrangements.
Val's remains will be buried on Thursday 21st January at St. Pancras Cemetery, High Road, E. Finchley, London N2 9AG, following a celebration of her life at the St Pancras Cemetery Chapel, at 1.30pm.
No flowers please.. Donations, if desired, to Motor Neurone Disease Research.

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