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That’s gas! Spoof e-mail cons national media

Marian Harrison - Western People

A SPOOF email, circulated last week, conned people into thinking Shell had been given permission for the new Corrib gas route.

According to the release, which was “sent from An Bord Pleanála”, Shell must build a new garda barracks on the gas pipeline and Shell workers must remove every frog from the Rossport commonage by hand and not by JCB!

National journalists took to the airwaves announcing the decision, only to realise their mistake later in the day.

According to the statement, untreated waste must be discharged into Broadhaven Bay; Shell must build sports and leisure facilities for people living within the 400 metre “kill zone” along the pipeline route and the multi-national must also fund a Doonacarton Early Avalanche Detection (DEAD) scheme where employees will keep an eye out for bits of mountain slipping towards homes.

The release went as far as quoting An Bord Pleanála chairperson John O’Connor as saying “the Corrib gas project is essential to the future of the nation’s development”.


An Bord Pleanála has since been inundated with calls enquiring about the authority of the email. “The phones haven’t stopped since Tuesday,” a spokesperson told the Western People. “Some media outlets went on air and to print with the news. We have even had foreign journalists onto us.” An extended version of the release saying that dogs are not allowed to bury bones on top of the pipeline and the public are prohibited from building sandcastles on Glengad Beach is available on, which has been closely associated with the Shell to Sea protests in Erris.

The reply address on the email was It’s understood the sender is a member of Voices for Creative Non-violence. Creative the e-mail certainly was!