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galway | environment | feature Thursday October 06, 2005 17:46 by Ciaran Hughes ciaran_hughes at yahoo dot co dot uk Caherawoneen, Kinvara, County Galway 087-9652992
'New native sport of the Irish' sez Wag, 'stalling them diggers'
A stand-off has been arranged in the saga at Killaghmore, Killconnell. Greenstar has agreed to stop work on the road used by bog owners, land owners and members of the Local Community and are going to meet with concerned community members and their representatives on Friday (tomorrow) at 2 pm.
The saga so far is that Greenstar attempted to cut off part of a road and divert the people with rights on this road through land LEASED by Greenstar without even consulting with the local community. Last Tuesday week Brendan Kelly, a local man who uses the right of way to access his organic farmland, found his way blocked by a digger and dumper. He objected and his way was cleared. This Local Man had several such experiences until last Friday when he mounted a permanent vigil and blocked all machines belonging to Greenstar from interfering with his rights. He was threatened with jail and the guards were present several times. On Monday in the presence of the guards and other concerned members of the Local Community he stood in front of a digger and stopped it. His actions were carried out using his rights under Agenda 21 and the Aarhus Convention.
Greenstar claim to have an EIA, though Galway County Council say they don’t have an EIA. Greenstar claim to have bought this road but refuse to say from whom they bought it – it is a right of way used by several people. Greenstar claim to have a tree-felling license but refuse to produce it and we know that they are already been investigated by the guards for felling much more trees than their license allows. Greenstar claim to have had public consultation but none of the local community were aware that Greenstar could stop people using a road that they and their ancestors have been using for generations.
There are several questions that need to be answered and this concerns everyone in the Country. Can Greenstar do what they like when it comes to the rights of peasant farmers and can Greenstar be trusted to operate any project? Are Greenstar going to be the next Shell?
Finally, I would like to congratulate the Rossport Five for all their efforts. These brave men have given us the courage to fight for our rights and the safety of our community as they fought for theirs.