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West's a quake

• A 4.0-magnitude earthquake, the biggest earthquake in Ireland since 1984, occurred 60km west of the Mullet Peninsula off the coast of Co Mayo yesterday morning, according to the British Geological Survey.

This locates the earthquake very close to the Shell gas rig in the Slyne Basin. It will be argued that this was an unforeseeable event, just as the Japanese nuclear power company argued that a tsunami was unforeseeable at Fukushima.

If a 4.0-magnitude earthquake is possible in the Slyne Basin, then a larger earthquake is also possible in this geological fault area. It would be irresponsible to ignore these dangers when imposing safety standards on the Shell gas rig, the pipeline from the rig to the shore, and the gas processing facilities on the mainland.

Edward Horgan
Newtown, Castletroy, Co Limerick

Irish Independent