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A bird's eye view of the vineyard
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Dublin Opinion >>
Donegal - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970
Launch of MAOR, a new group concerned with gas and oil exploration in Donegal
New Donegal group MAOR organises in response to giveaway of Ireland's natural resources and demands a better deal from Government. Launch: 2pm, Saturday the 14th of April in Letterkenny 's Market Square.
DONEGAL residents are launching a new group, MAOR, on April 14 to create awareness and to take action on the economic and environmental issues surrounding oil and gas exploration in Donegal.
‘We believe that this and previous Irish governments have given away the rights to gas and oil exploration at rates no other country would approve,’ said MAOR spokesperson, Amanda Slevin.
‘Off the Donegal coast this summer there are likely to be four separate license holders exploring for gas and oil. The people of the county will not gain anything from our natural resources, but damage to our environment. In fact, people in Norway, through Statoil, are likely to see more benefit than we in Ireland,’ she added. ‘We are launching MAOR on April 14 in Letterkenny and welcome everyone to join us.’
Under Offshore Licensing Terms agreed in 1975 and 1992, licences granted to companies including Shell, Marathon and Statoil gave control of vast offshore reserves to the oil and gas industry. The majority payout goes to developers, with the Irish Government not demanding any royalties or profits from Irish natural resources; this is in stark comparison to countries such as Canada which demands up to 30% royalties, 26.12% tax and significant bonuses. The Ministers who signed these deals were Ray Burke in 1987 and Bertie Ahern in 1992. As a result people in Ireland will see little benefit from the potential 10 billion barrels or 450 billion euros worth of gas and oil off the North and West Coast of Ireland.
‘MAOR calls on everyone in Donegal and the North West to Mobilise, Act, Overcome and Reclaim our rights to our country’s offshore natural resources,’ said Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig. ‘Last summer a five company consortium was drilling off the north coast of Donegal without any warning to the local people.
‘We hardly need to be reminded of the threats to the environment in Erris, Co Mayo from the proposed Shell gas processing plant and pipeline to Ballinaboy Bridge. The Corrib group of companies, all major international oil and gas producers, have been granted licence terms that will mean local people still paying high prices for fuel, while the profits are sent to other countries.
‘And these companies have consistently refused to allow full investigation of the real environmental damage likely in the Erris peninsula.’ When in 2002, the Irish government allowed compulsory acquisition orders for the benefit of private companies, the scene was set for five men from Rossport to be jailed for nearly 100 days in 2005 for daring to protect their way of life.
‘We welcome the decision by Mayo Co Council to call on the Government to renegotiate all deals regarding Ireland’s natural resources, including the Corrib gas field.’
Mayo Councillors have pointed out that other countries are renegotiating deals with oil and gas companies. Senior planning officers have already rejected the proposed Ballinaboy Bridge location on the grounds that it threatens a scenic location and is unstable since it needs the removal of thousands of tons of peat bog, and is too close to family homes.
‘Its high time that we here in Donegal and the North West, take a stand to reclaim our rights to our offshore resources,’ declares Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig. ‘Join us on April 14 and show your support.’
MAOR – LAUNCH - LETTERKENNY
14th April, 2007 at 2p.m. in the Market Square, Letterkenny
Frank Connolly – Investigative Journalist and author of the ‘The Great Corrib Gas Controversy ’
Michéal O’ Seighin – Rossport 5
Amanda Slevin - MAOR
Chairperson: Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig