Monday 23 October 2017

Campaign is not over yet, warn Rossport protesters

Brian McDonald and Ken Sweeney

THE planning niceties might be all but done and dusted, but in north-west Mayo yesterday there was little sign of a white flag being raised by those opposed to the project.

At her home in Rossport, Mary Corduff expressed little surprise at the decision. "It was to be expected", she declared. "We certainly didn't expect any wonders from an Bord Pleanala."

In 2005, her husband Willie and four other local men were incarcerated in Clover Hill Prison for 94 days as a result of their failure to abide by an injunction against their pipeline protest.

"We will talk about this and reflect on it. As regards a court challenge--we'll examine that prospect.

"John Gormley or Eamon Ryan is going to have to sign off on this, so it's not a final approval," she insisted.

The Shell to Sea campaign has also thrown its weight behind promises of continuing defiance.

Spokesman Terence Conway rejected an Bord Pleanala's assertion in its report that the decision would benefit the people of Mayo and Ireland.

"The only people to benefit will be the shareholders of Shell, Statoil and Vermillion," he said.

But Pro Gas Mayo secretary Brendan Cafferty said he hoped all right-thinking people would abide by the decision and bring the long-running saga to an end.


However, veteran campaigner Maura Harrington was having none of it. "It remains to be seen where we go from here. There is a possible judicial review and then there is resistance", she said.

Elsewhere, the director of an award-winning documentary on the protests described the decision as "inevitable".

Tipperary man Risteard O Domhnaill (31) spent four years following the lives of three Shell opponents -- Willie Corduff, Monica Muller and Pat O'Donnell -- for 'The Pipe'.

Since its release last June it has won awards and acclaim at film festivals worldwide.

The film-maker said the people he documented in Mayo had long foreseen yesterday's decision.

"Among the people I filmed there was a certain fatalism that 'might would be right' and one way or another Shell would get the go ahead if they wore people down," he added.

An Irish language version of 'The Pipe' will be shown on TG4 on February 9.

Irish Independent

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