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Bishop called on to intervene in Corrib

Áine RyanTHE BISHOP of Killala, Most Rev John Fleming, has been called upon to intervene in the protracted Corrib gas dispute, as protestors prepare for a major march to be held on Friday morning next, November 10.Ms Mary Corduff, wife of Rossport Five’s, Willie Corduff, told The Mayo News yesterday (Monday) that it was the bishop’s duty as religious ‘shepherd’ of the diocese to take note of a recent letter to the Minister for Energy, written about the negative impact of the project, by three of his priests, Fathers Sean Noone, Michael Gilroy and Michael Nallen. She said the community was ‘being destroyed’ and the ‘emotional pain’ was a daily feature of life.“It’s time the bishop listened to what his priests are saying and represented all his flock. A few years ago he supported people protesting against the Asbestos plant [proposed for the old Asahi plant near Killala]. He was involved in [a symbolic service of] floating candles for each dirty job that would have been created. That was 50 jobs sacrificed because it was wrong,” said Ms Corduff. The Mayo News left a message for Bishop Fleming but had not received a response at time of going to press. Mr Colin Joyce, of Shell, also said that the company would be happy to enter into dialogue with anybody with ‘genuine concerns’. Ms Corduff’s call comes just a day after a Choctaw Indian, who addressed an Afri hedge school in north Mayo, said there was ‘a major opportunity for Shell and the local community to sit down and work out something for everybody’s benefit’. The company had been invited to address the meeting, held in Glenamoy over the weekend, but a spokesman said there was nobody available. At the opening of the school, Mr White Deer presented $8,000 to Rossport Five’s, Vincent McGrath, which is the equivalent in today’s values to the $710 sent by the Choctaw native American community to Ireland for famine relief in 1847.Meanwhile, The Irish Times reported on Monday that a report for Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, on recent unauthorised drilling, in the Glenamoy bog complex, by Shell consultants, RPS, has found that no significant damage was incurred.However, the Minister is still seeking expert advice on the implications of the report, given that legislation to protect the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) was breached by the consultants. Under the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations 1997, the Minister for Environment must authorise any such work in a SAC by written consent.Consultants RPS said that the drilling had been implemented without permission due to ‘a miscommunication’ between themselves and Shell.Next Friday’s march marks the twelfth anniversary of the death of Ken Saro Wiwa, and eight Ogoni men, who were executed by the Nigerian State on November 10, 1995. They had opposed the work of oil companies in the Niger Delta, particularly Shell and Chevron. According to a Shell to Sea statement, the march will also mark the anniversary of a baton charge by gardaí at a similar march in Bellanaboy last year.
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Posted Date: 
8 November 2007 - 1:13pm