Friday 24 November 2006

Judgment reserved in Rossport action

The High Court has reserved judgment on an application by two opponents of the route of the Corrib gas pipeline for an order that a document of Shell E&P Ireland's lawyers can be used in proceedings against the company.

Brendan James Philbin and Breege McGarry, of Rossport, Co Mayo, claim the document - a solicitors' attendance docket included by mistake by lawyers for Shell last year in legal documents presented to the court - shows inconsistencies between what Shell was saying publicly in court and privately to its lawyers on a number of issues, including matters related to the nature of ministerial consents for the pipeline.

Mr Philbin and Ms McGarry are two of four defendants involved in legal proceedings with Shell E&P arising from their opposition to the proposed route of the pipeline through their lands at Rossport.

An application by Shell to discontinue its proceedings against the residents, which action led to the jailing of Mr Philbin and four other Co Mayo men for 94 days last year, will be determined by the High Court early next year. On January 16th the court will also consider how to deal with counterclaims against Shell brought by Mr Philbin, Ms Mc Garry, Mr Willie Corduff and Mr Philip McGrath.

Mr Philbin and Ms McGarry are seeking to use the attendance docket of June 10th, 2005, in advancing their counterclaim. They contend it is not legally privileged because some of the content was reported in an article in The Irish Times on July 5th, 2005

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