Trucks continued to be blockaded in Erris as state admits failure to implement EU Environmental Directives.


The struggle against the Shell experimental raw gas pipeline being imposed on the people of Erris continued this week with Shell to Sea campaigners continuing to blockade peat removal lorries while a court case resuled in the state admitting it failed to correctly bring into law required EU Environmental Directives.  However despite thus the State is still maintaining that the consents given to Shell, including one given by interim Fianna Fáil minister Pat Carey on the day of the last general election, are still valid.

The court case had been brought by An Taisce  which after this admission withdrew its legal challenge to the validity of consents for the Corrib Gas project. Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said of this decision that  “It isn't rational what happened today, how can the State acknowledge that something is wrong and at the same time claim that consents stemming from that are still valid? It appears to us that An Taisce while acknowledging that Corrib represents a 'travesty of European Environmental Law' is willing to trade that, for their costs and a seat on an environmental law implementation group yet to be established.”

As direct action against the massive construction project (now estimated to cost in excess of 2.6 billion) continued Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway pointed out that “If the state isn't going to carry out its moral duty to protect the people of Erris, then it falls on the ordinary people of Ireland to stand up for themselves. It's all very well being vindicated but we're still left fighting this monument to political corruption. This is just the latest deal in the whole Corrib project done behind closed doors that ends up betraying a local community which has been fighting this unwanted development for over ten years.”

Shell plan to begin removing peat and hauling in stone, with up to 475 truck movements a day.  Shell to Sea are asking people to "please consider coming to help a community trying to resist the might of  Shell & the State, in whatever way you can."  A national solidarity demonstration is to take place in Erris on the 11th November, contact your local Shell to Sea group for transport arrangements.