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Ferris disappointed at withholding of Corrib documents

4 October, 2006


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Natural Resources, Martin Ferris TD has voiced his disappointment at the refusal of Minister Noel Dempsey to make available documents relating to the development of the Corrib gas field. The documents in question detail the terms of the lease granted to the Shell led consortium, the plan of development for the pipeline and the quantitative risk assessment of the terminal at Bellanaboy. The documents are the subject of a discovery order by the High Court but Shell is refusing to make them available. In a reply to a written question from Deputy Ferris, Minister Dempsey yesterday stated that he was legally prevented from releasing the papers.

The Kerry North TD said: "In light of the current situation at the Bellanaboy site, and in the interests of facilitating the settlement which both the Minister and Shell have stated they wish to promote, surely such an atmosphere would be promoted by the release of these documents. Given that the state has possession of the documents but does not presumably have the same interest in concealing their content as the consortium in question, I cannot understand why the Minister should not make them available.

"I would also question the basis of his contention that he is legally prevented from doing so given that the High Court has ordered their discovery and therefore feels that they ought to be made available at least to the legal representatives of the persons who have been the subject of Shell's own legal action. In the current atmosphere of suspicion and tension every effort ought to be made to instil confidence and trust."

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