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Shell to Sea campaigners may face imprisonment despite vindication

Shelver - Rossport Solidarity Camp

Preview of appeals due in Castlebar on the 9th Feb 2010.

Judge Rory MacCabe is due to hear 14 Shell to Sea related cases scheduled for next Tuesdays sitting of Castlebar circuit court. The stakes are high: Five people are appealing prison sentences imposed last year, and may go directly to jail if they lose their appeals.

Despite the vindication of the campaign by An Bord Pleanála - who in November rejected over half of Shell's latest on-shore pipeline route on safety grounds – those who have rightly campaigned against the project over the years continue to be dragged before the courts, and may well be unjustly imprisoned after Tuesday’s court in Castlebar.

Shell, along with the Government, Gardaí and judiciary would like the event to pass silently, people to go to prison quietly and serve as an example of what can happen if you stand up for your rights.

Community Power at the Rossport Solidarity Camp

Shelver - Rossport Solidarity Camp

DIY wind power course review

From Wednesday the 27th to Sunday the 31st of January, the Rossport Solidarity Camp hosted a wind power workshop. Local people and campers united to learn metal work, wood work and electronics to produce a fully functional 2.4 meter diameter wind turbine, now supplying power to the off-grid Rossport Solidarity House. The use of farmer's shed for the week was kindly by donated which was the perfect base for the workshop. The course was led by V3 Power, a workers co-operative based in Nottingham specialising in teaching courses in how to build DIY wind turbines.

Shell to Sea challenge Ministers to dismantle illegal Shell pipeline

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 [1]. 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.

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.

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