Thursday 24 July 2008

Retention of Corrib details an oversight, says Minister

MINISTER FOR Energy Eamon Ryan has acknowledged an "oversight" in failing to publish latest authorisations for work on the Corrib gas project.

This follows criticism from members of his party and community representatives in Erris over the Department of Energy's failure to make public key information about current work at the Glengad landfall for the pipeline.

A spokewoman for Mr Ryan said the department had activated authorisation of certain consents for the works, but this information was not made publicly available.

This was an "oversight", the spokeswoman said, and all authorisations and new information relating to the department's role would be published on the website from today. Relevant authorisations would also be published in future in the local press, the spokeswoman said.

Twelve residents who staged a peaceful protest to question the authorisations were arrested by gardaí on Tuesday, and later released without charge.

PJ Moran, one of the 12, said he would "never have participated in the protest" if he had known about the authorisations.

Dr Mark Garavan, former spokesman for the Rossport five, was also critical of the dearth of information.

"All information should be made clear, and the fact that this work on Glengad relates to consents originally approved before the 2003 Pollathomas landslide also needs to be questioned," Dr Garavan said.

Andy Wilson, of the Mayo branch of the Green Party, said the work at Glengad in advance of approval for the pipeline made a "complete mockery" of the planning process.

Speaking in a personal capacity, he called on Mr Ryan to support the recommendations of the recent Green Party national council motion, which called for the establishment of an independent review body to examine alternative refinery sites in north Mayo.

Pobal Chill Chomáin, a local community group, has called on the two Green Party Government Ministers to cease all civil engineering works by Shell E&P Ireland in the Pollathomas and Glengad area until a "rigorous geological survey and examination" is conducted.

The Irish Times

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