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The Irish Times
Letter to the editor
Madam, - Your Editorial on "the Corrib project" (June 13th)impedes understanding of the complexities surrounding the Corrib gas conflict. Unfortunate references to Whiskey Galore-like events merely substitutes facile caricature for rigorous analysis. This editorial simplification stands in poor contrast with The Irish Times's excellent news coverage of the issue.
It is clear that the Corrib gas conflict has gone on for far too long and needs urgently to be resolved. The appalling scenes which occurred at Pollathomas pier last Monday evening demonstrate this vividly.
Despite what might be implied in your Editorial, the conflict is not some irrational manifestation of Luddite peasant resistance to progress. There are specific and clear substantive issues at the heart of the problem, which include questions of health, safety and the rights of communities to participate in decisions affecting their quality of life and cultural integrity.
Since October last year I and others, such as Dr Jerry Cowley, have proposed the establishment of an independent commission to determine the best development concept for the Corrib gas project. The commission should be guided by the twin criteria of best technology and community consent. This would permit which you call "constructive engagement", but within a context that would accentuate the prospects for a genuine and agreed resolution. This proposal has received the support of the Labour Party, the Green Party, Sinn Féin and some of the independent TDs.
That proposal remains the only viable option for resolution currently on the table. The conflict can be solved, but it requires leadership and political will. The people of North Mayo - on all sides of this issue have borne appalling pressure and trauma in recent years. They warrant respect and understanding, rather than crude and unwarranted dismissal and ridicule. - Yours, etc,
Dr MARK GARAVAN, Castlebar, Co Mayo.

Posted Date: 
17 June 2007 - 6:57pm