AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and the Front Line human rights defenders organisation have sent a joint reconnaissance group to north Mayo to observe the policing of the Corrib gas dispute.
The two organisations have not initiated formal monitoring as yet, although protests are planned today over initiation of preparatory work to lay the approved Corrib gas pipeline up the Sruwaddacon estuary special area of conservation.
Shell to Sea and the Rossport Solidarity Camp have asked why work has started when a judicial review application of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to approve the pipeline route is still before the courts. The pipeline laying, including tunnelling, is expected to take two years and has been given consents by former acting energy minister Pat Carey (FF) and Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan.
Amnesty International and Front Line agreed to work together on human rights monitoring last year in discussions with former energy minister Eamon Ryan.
Mr Ryan had welcomed the publication of Front Line’s report by barrister Brian Barrington last April, which recommended that a human rights observer be appointed in the event that planning permission for the pipeline was given along a contested route.
Mr Barrington’s report also recommended that the Garda would co-operate with monitoring and that it should appoint a trained lawyer with relevant experience in human rights advice to review Garda policies and practices and assist with planning.