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Corrib Gas and M3 Motorway issues - the common ground


Corrib Gas and M3 Motorway issues - the common ground

The 'Shell to Sea' and 'Save Tara' campaigns are hosting a joint public information evening (GlÓr Music Centre, Ennis on Wednesday 26th September at 7:30pm) and I think it interesting to examine the common ground and similarities.

Both campaigns were initiated following the drawing of lines on a map to mark routes of pipeline / motorway purely for the benefit of vested interests. There was no proper consultation with communities and plans were 'fast-tracked' by the government with total and utter disregard for our natural, historical, cultural and spiritual heritage. In the process, communities, heritage and environment have been seriously and permanently damaged.

There are other similarities - both have seen people jailed for excercising their right to peaceful protest and both have seen appallingly violent behaviour by gardai and security personnel employed to protect vested interests rather than the community.

These campaigns are about quality of life. This manner of 'government' by force for the short-term gain of big business is not acceptable nor sustainable ecomomically. The use of the court system as a means of deciding issues of sustainability is in itself unsustainable and a waste of public resources. It goes against the very character and soul of Ireland and is also contrary to the principles for sustainability laid down in Agenda 21 at the Rio Summit (1992) to which we are a signatory. Consequently, it also goes against European laws, directives and guidelines. A robust, transparent and accountable planning process would resolve these issues before they become polarised.

It is important to consider the alternatives that are available. Car-pooling could be encouraged to reduce the consumption of fuel and the congestion on roads. Better public transport, especially rail services and links would reduce road freight and traffic generally (well documented in the Meath World Heritage Park development plan - see website ). Our dependance on fossil fuels could be reduced by more use of renewable energies - wave-power is now in use in Scotland and Portugal and could be 'fast-tracked' here in Ireland - the Mayo coast would be an obvious location (this has already been put forward in the Kilcommon (Erris) Development Plan - contact Treasa NÍ Ghearraigh e-mail ).

Anyone with a conscience and a care for the future of our country ought to support the need for proper Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) which should identify and resolve outstanding issues before they blow up into the unfortunate scenarios that we have witnessed in recent times. We can still have our natural resources, heritage and more efficient transport system but it must be for the benefit of the nation as a whole - not just short-sighted greed and speed for the few.

Yours etc,

Bob Wilson

(contact telephone 087-632-4644)

Posted Date: 
25 September 2007 - 2:39pm