Tuesday 12 December 2017

Seven face prosecution over Corrib pipeline disruption


GARDAI are preparing files for the prosecution of five British and two Irish protesters following the latest attempts to disrupt the work being done to pump ashore natural gas from the Corrib gas field, which lies deep underwater off the coast of Co Mayo.

Protesters disrupted exploratory drilling in preparation for bringing the gas ashore at Sruwaddacon Bay last Thursday week and gardai had to be called in to allow workmen to continue the ground testing.

Four people with addresses in London and Nottingham and another from Wales were arrested along with two with Irish addresses.

All are part of the international protest group that has assembled this summer with the intention of trying to stop the Corrib gas -- which it is estimated will supply 60 per cent of the country's gas needs -- from being brought ashore to the €545m refinery at Belannaboy.

Some of the most prominent protestors are members of the splinter group -- Eirigi -- which is mostly made up of disenchanted former Sinn Fein members.

The Corrib project has been running for a decade, hindered by repeated appeals to An Bord Pleanala, and a further oral hearing is to take place later this month with a report not likely until year's end or later.

Despite the fact that the Corrib Field may well provide all of Ireland's gas needs following further exploration and that the refinery will provide more than 200 permanent jobs in the area, the massive project continues to be the target of an increasingly international band of protesters -- many of whom are also involved in anti-globalisation campaigns and protests in Europe and beyond.

The protests are aimed at international companies and particularly those in the energy industry.

The files that are currently being prepared by the gardai following the latest disruption of work at the site will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions seeking charges under the Public Order Act.

Sunday Independent

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