AS Shell announces ten long-term jobs for the controversial Corrib gas project, an environmentalist has warned that government ministers ‘should not be allowed to sacrifice the environment on the altar of corporate greed’.
The ten trainee Production Operations and Maintenance Technicians will ultimately form part of the Corrib team running the refinery at Bellanaboy when the project is completed.
“These will be full-time jobs at the Bellanaboy Bridge terminal, with full industry-specific training provided to the ten that are chosen,” said Michael Crothers, Shell E&P Ireland’s MD.
He continued: “Jobs like these are one of the greatest long-term benefits of the project and I would particularly encourage members of the local community with an interest in this work to get their applications in ahead of the closing date on August 31.”
Meanwhile, a leading Nigerian human rights activist told a public meeting in Glenamoy at the weekend that, in his experience, an ‘unwillingness to have dialogue with local communities’ had contributed to many conflicts between oil and gas companies and local communities. The public meeting was organised by Afri – Action from Ireland.
“This struggle over the gas pipeline has been going on for a decade and the harassment of local activities is globally known. I’m focussing on what communities are struggling on and standing with people confronting impunity,” said Nnimmo Bassey, who leads Friends of the Earth International.
Mr Bassey also spoke in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, about the environmental consequences of fracking. He was due to speak in Liberty Hall, Dublin, last night, alongside north Mayo fisherman Pat ‘The Chief’ O’Donnell and Leah Doherty from No Fracking Ireland.
Another speaker at the public meeting, Betty Schult, of Kilcommon Lodge, addressed the subject of ‘Occupation’ and observed that many of her neighbours and friends had expressed ‘a strong sense of isolation’ and of ‘being ignored’ over the ten years of the project.
She offered ‘a tapestry’ of quotes – experiences, thoughts and emotions – by local people about the project.
The following are some examples: “When I go and check on my cattle at night, torches light up and shine in my face.” “I go to my local church and find the car park is full of paddywagons and patrol cars. When I ask why they are here, I’m told that’s none of my business.” “When my wife hangs out the washing she realises she is being filmed.” “I need to visit my elderly client. A policeman insists on driving me there in my own car.”
IN yet another twist, it has emerged that IRMS, a private security company employed by Shell, appears to have been monitoring the movements of campaigners opposed to the project. Shell to Sea has released scans of pages from notebooks, which it claims comprises notes taken by security staff. In a statement IRMs said it operated ‘to the highest standards, acting responsibly and proportionally at all times’.
A spokeswoman for Shell said in a statement: “It is regrettable that security is required on the project to protect workers and equipment, but ongoing protestor activity – frequently aggressive and involving people from outside the local community – and the continuing threat of vandalism makes it necessary.”
The statement continued: “Shell E&P Ireland Limited is satisfied that IRMS carries out this challenging work professionally and respectfully.”
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