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Pollathomas opposition

April 2004

RESIDENTS in Pullathomas have this week vowed to oppose the Corrib gas project if landslide barriers are not constructed to safeguard the area.

Chairman of the Dooncarton Landslide Committee, Gerard McDonnell, has said that while the group is not 'anti-gas,' they cannot countenance the bringing ashore of gas in a pipeline running under Dooncarton mountain, where a threat of landslides still exists to the extent that a number of families are still unable to return to their homes. They remain designated 'hi-risk' by engineering experts.

While the Landslide Comm-ittee did not make a formal submission to Mayo County Council on the Corrib gas planning application, it is understood that individual members did, and an objection will be made to An Bord Pleanala if planning permission is granted without appropriate landslide protections in place, in light of the serious safety issues raised.

Meeting with the Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Mr. Eamon O’Cuiv, when he visited Mayo yesterday (Tuesday), Landslide Committee member and former Chairman, Brian Wilson, was keen to impress upon the Minister the necessity of the landslide barriers, not just in areas deemed 'high-risk', but in 'medium-risk' areas also, particularly in light of the fact that many families have returned to their homes in medium risk and high risk areas despite the danger.

A spokesperson for Mayo County Council has rejected the suggestion that the construction of kinetic barriers has already been ruled out by the council.

However, a spokesperson for the Department of the Environment has told The Mayo News that there was 'no mention of kinetic barriers' in the County Council’s funding submission to the Department of Environment before Christmas.

The funding allocated in the wake of the landslides was for 'roads, bridges and footpaths' and the additional increase in the Local Government Fund received by Mayo County Council in recognition of the landslides 'could technically be used anywhere in the county,' the Department of the Environment spokesperson said.

However, a spokesperson for Mayo County Council declined to comment on the statement from the Department of the Environment until the Landslide Working Group meets on Thursday.

The membership of this group includes representatives from Mayo County Council, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Office of Public Works.

No representative of the residents of Pullathomas has been invited to participate in the Working Group. A spokesperson for the County Council said this was because the Working Group would be discussing 'technical issues' but that resident representation could be considered at a later date.

At a meeting of Mayo County Council this week, County Manager, Des Mahon stressed that work was underway on an extensive list of road improvements in Pullathomas, as well as work on bridges and drains. Further funding would be sought to complete works in Pullathomas if required at a later date, he maintained.

However, Deputy Michael Ring has said that he intends to table a question in the Dail next week seeking clarification as to what specific funding was given to Mayo County Council for what specific works in Pullathomas.


Posted Date: 
9 March 2005 - 9:45pm