THE recently appointed Corrib gas chief, Michael Crothers has paid a warm tribute to his late predecessor, Andy Pyle, who died unexpectedly earlier this month in Scotland.
Aged 64, Mr Pyle had been ill for some time. He was appointed Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland in 2002, after the company purchased the beleaguered project for €5.7 billion from the original developer, Enterprise Oil. At the time, Mr Pyle had 30 years experience working for Royal Dutch Shell in both the North Sea and Houston, Texas.
In 2005, he came to national prominence after the jailing of the Rossport Five. They flouted a High Court order allowing Shell carry-out preparatory work on lands adjacent to the proposed pipeline route. Mr Pyle became embroiled in further controversy when a leaked memo recorded him suggesting that all non-compliant landowners should be jailed. Mr Pyle later argued that his comments had been misinterpreted. The men were released on September 30, 2006 and the following May, Mr Pyle said he regretted their imprisonment.
Andy Pyle retired in 2008 and was replaced by Mr Terry Nolan, who subsequently retired in 2011.
Mr Pyle was cremated in Aberdeen on May 15. A minute’s silence was observed on the Corrib project work sites and offices in both Mayo and Dublin on that day. He is survived by his widow, Sue and two sons, Iain and Robert.
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