PROPOSALS for an alternative route for the Corrib gas project are due to be submitted to An Bord Pleanála by the end of this month, according to Shell. The Mayo News understands that the new route through Sruwaddaccon Bay will involve the construction of a large tunnel five metres under the seabed.
It was recently reported in The Sunday Business Post that this operation, which aims to meet the recommendations of the planning board, will cost up to €100 million and delay the delivery of the project by up to two years. However, Shell has dismissed such reportage of delays as nothing more than ‘conjecture’.
Responding to two recommendations in human rights organisation Front Line’s report, ‘Breakdown of Trust: Report on the Corrib Gas Dispute’, Shell E&P Ireland stated that the company ‘has always applied the highest professional standards in its approach to the Corrib Gas Project’.
“The regulations relating to the Corrib Gas Project are enormously complex, involving multiple consents under different legislation, from several government departments, multiple statutory agencies, and the local authority in Mayo,” the company stated.
The statement continues: “We devote an enormous amount of time and resources to complying with the regulations relating to all aspects of the development of the pipeline and the terminal site. We are committed to doing everything possible to fully comply with these regulations at all times. Whenever an unforeseen issue has arisen, we have moved quickly to ensure full compliance as quickly as possible.”
Meanwhile, IRMS, the security company working in north Mayo for Shell, has categorically rejected outright ‘a central conclusion of this report, namely that Mr Willie Corduff was assaulted’.
The company has revealed that, through its legal representatives, it will demand a retraction of any insinuations that IRMS was involved in any assault on Mr Corduff and that barrister, Brian Barrington’s report be amended to include the DPP’s findings.
The DPP decided there were no grounds for a criminal prosecution arising from allegations that masked men beat Willie Corduff during the protest at Glengad in April last.
IRMS Director, Jim Farrell said he could vouch for this since, throughout the period of the Rossport farmer’s protest and emergence from the truck at Glengad, he was present at all times.
“As a professional, my duty of care was to Mr Corduff. Mindful of his welfare and the deteriorating weather conditions, our concern was to keep Mr Corduff warm and dry, that food and water were provided to him, that medical support was in place, and that for his own welfare, the situation was safely resolved. At all times, we followed best practice and protected Mr Corduff,” Mr Farrell said in a statement.
He also observed the DPP had concluded that, following a garda investigation, that IRMS had no case to answer, nor would any prosecutions be sought.
In a further response, a spokeswoman for the Garda Commissioner said the report will be examined in detail, before specific issues were addressed. She told The Irish Examiner that the Commissioner ‘would make it clear that he is very happy with the policing operation in what are very difficult circumstances’.
Responding, Ms Maura Harrington, of Shell to Sea, said the report was ‘a truly awful reflection on policing, governance and regulation in Ireland’.