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Rossport will continue to have support of many other communities - Ó Caoláin

4 May, 2006

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghn Ó Caoláin TD has claimed that, despite the spin from both the Government and Shell around the issue of the Corrib pipeline, the issue has not been settled. Speaking in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Caoláin claimed the reports on the safety aspects of the pipeline "are irrelevant because they do not address any of the real concerns of the people of North Mayo."

He said, "My colleague Martin Ferris last night referred to the release of the reports on the safety aspects of the Corrib pipeline. I would like to reiterate his warning that whatever the spin that is being placed on this by the Government and Shell that the issue has not been settled.

"Supporters of the current proposal, that will bring little if any benefit to either the people of North Mayo or the people of Ireland and at some considerable risk, no doubt envisage that the reports will form the basis of a campaign to undermine opposition and to portray the Rossport objectors as unreasonable Luddites. I do not believe that this will work. It will not work for the simple reason that the majority of people in this country know when they are being sold a pup. They can also recognise decent honourable people who are standing up for what is right.

"They also, despite the best efforts of the Government and Shell's other friends in this House and in the media, understand the fact that Corrib along with our other mineral resources have been to all intents and purposes given away. And given away in large measure by individuals who gave lots of things away, but only when they were getting something back in return. Not for the state, not for the people. Sometimes not even, as they claimed, for their own party, but for themselves. Given all that people do know therefore, it is unlikely that they will support the railroading of the Corrib pipeline against the wishes of the community in Rossport.

"Perhaps the most concise and accurate summation of the reports released with such heraldry yesterday, was that delivered by Dr. Mark Garavan, who described them as irrelevant. They are irrelevant because they do not address any of the real concerns of the people of North Mayo. They do not consider any of the alternatives, including crucially the processing of the gas off shore, nor do they get around the fact that opposition to the pipeline has, if anything strengthened since the imprisonment of the five men.

"As one of those men, Micheál O Seighin, said yesterday. If the Shell consortium attempts to proceed in the same manner as it did last year, " - then we will be forced to resist the imposition of a dangerous regime on our people and on our place, and that applies to the entire community now." And I can assure the Minister that the Rossport community will continue to have the support of many other communities throughout this country in that struggle." ENDS

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