Monday 9 November 2009

US rights group supports Corrib residents

A REPORT for a US human rights group on the Corrib gas project says that residents in north Mayo had been given “false information” and “their legal rights have been trampled upon”.

Marilyn Horan of Observers’ International says the protests against Shell project have been “consistently peaceful” and “despite Garda allegations, there is not a single recorded incident of violence by protesters”.

Ms Horan was an observer for the Irish Parades Emergency Committee during Drumcree Orange Order parades. She did her report in Erris during the summer.

“The investigation was conducted with a view to recommending that observers be sent by Observers’ International to north Mayo if onshore pipeline construction is approved,” she said.

An Bórd Pleanála deferred a final decision on the onshore pipeline last week, saying that up to half of the proposed new route was “unacceptable” on safety grounds, due to its proximity to housing in Rossport and between Glengad and Aughoose.

Ms Horan is critical of gardaí and the judiciary over the failure to take any action against private security. Security guards did not wear identification tags, engaged in surveillance of residents and attacked protesters without sanction, she said. Ms Horan did not interview Shell, its security firm I-RMS or gardaí for the report. She explained this would not be within her remit at this stage.

The Garda and Courts Service had no comment to make, and I-RMS was unavailable for comment. Shell EP Ireland said it “was not aware of the existence of this report” until now.

“At no time has Marilyn Horan or anyone else from this organisation attempted to make contact with Shell or sought the company’s views in relation to any . . . issues raised and allegations made in the report,” it said.

Irish Times

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