Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Time for Irish government to tell Shell and Statoil to put pipeline off-shore

7 October, 2005

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking on a visit to Mayo today called on the Irish government to intervene in the Corrib Gas dispute and tell Shell to put their pipeline and refinery off-shore. Mr. Adams, accompanied by party colleagues Councillors Gerry Murray and Noel Campbell, visited the proposed site for the refinery at Ballinaboy and met with Rossport campaigners including Micheal Ó Seighin, Willie Corduff, Vincent McGrath, Brendan Philbin, Philip McGrath and their families.

Mr. Adams said:

"The arrest and detention of the Rossport 5 has caused huge disquiet throughout Ireland. People are concerned that ordinary people could be treated in this way, they are concerned that a multi-national consortium could force a dangerous pipeline through a small community regardless of concerns about health and safety and they are concerned that the Irish government would give away natural resources worth billions of EUROs at a time when our public services are in crisis.

"Today I met with campaigners at Ballinaboy and in Rossport. I spoke to the families involved in the campaign and offered Sinn Féin's ongoing support. Sinn Féin has raised this matter with the Irish government. We have also spoken with the outgoing Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Bondevik, other Norwegian political parties and with Shell. We have asked them to listen to the concerns of people in Ireland.

"I want to welcome the release of Micheal O Seighin, Willie Corduff, Vincent McGrath, Brendan Philbin and Philip McGrath but it is important to recognise that this issue will not be resolved by mediation with Shell. The way that this will be resolved is for the Irish government to tell the Corrib Gas consortium to move their pipeline and refinery offshore. They also need to renegotiate the scandalous deal signed by former Minister Ray Burke which saw the government give away the rights to Corrib and future gas and oil fields to the oil companies.

"It is estimated that Corrib gas alone is worth between €12 Billion and €21 Billion, which is over twice the size of the government‚s entire health budget. And there are more gas fields off Cork, Shannon, Galway and Donegal, but no one knows yet how large they are or how much they are worth. What we do know is that they are resources that could be put to good use in Ireland." ENDS

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