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Mayo County Council and the Shell Road

category mayo | environment | news report author Thursday July 10, 2008 16:03author by A Report this post to the editors

Mayo County Coucil are currently "widening" and strengthen an 8km road from the Bellanaboy refinery to the proposed landfall area in Glengad.
Road widened with Coillte land on the right
Road widened with Coillte land on the right

Despite Shell having no definitive pipeline route and landfall site permission, Mayo County Council (MCC) is “widening” the road from the refinery to the proposed land-fall site at Shells request. This work has been objected to at every possible opportunity by the community it affects and those who live along the length of it, these efforts include petitions and over 120 signatures on numberous submissions to MCC. Despite this the MCC has pushed forward with this road work, pre-empting any decision of the planning authority / An Bord Pleannala on the pipeline. This comes as no surprise to the people who live here.

MCC have used every trick they have, to push through with the road widening, but a largely united local opposition has stopped them from proceeding further with the road widening endeavour. The road was to be upgraded from the refinery site to the proposed landfall site and not a millimetre further. MCC expected people to give up their road side land for the multinational. Using tactics smacking of intimidation and bullying the council have refused to meet with local concerned groups of affected people or land owners, preferring to attempt to misinform, intimidate individual landowners, despite receiving solicitor’s letters requesting them not to do this.

In one instance the council dug up land without the landowner’s permission and then refused the landowners requests to reinstate the land. Instead they sent a solicitor’s letter threatening him that he would be liable for any accidents that occurred on that stretch of road.
The council’s attitude towards handling the road widening process is illustrated by the fact that they commenced works along the road without having secured permissions to widen substantial sections of it, preferring to attempt to pressurise people into giving up their land as the work continues towards their land, house and homes.

Their ineptitude at handling the road widening construction is evident in the incidents that have occurred during the construction so far. The work being carried out bears little resemblance to the “plans” of the project which were available for public viewing and objections, all of which were ignored. Relevant information to be able to make submissions only emerged after the deadline or had to be extracted with the help of a solicitor.

During part of their excavations alongside the road their work caused a large ground slide, luckily no one was seriously injured or killed. This slide swept 5 electricity poles away and caused power cuts. Further power cuts were experienced this week as the temporary work done to reinstall power was changed for a permanent fix. Further incidents have seen delivery trucks stuck and sinking in the soft bog
Vast amounts of peat are being excavated and the holes filled with stone, mostly Cl 804, fine gravel, not suitable to build up large depths of road, especially in such damp areas and without proper compaction, which is not being carried out.
Peat is being transported along the works to be placed elsewhere. Moving peat in this manner requires a license which we doubt MCC have bothered obtaining.

MCC have also shown scant regard for the streams and water courses even though they were advised on the sensitivity of the area by the North West Regional Fisheries Board (NWRFB) board. In a letter from NWRFB to MCC they stated that “all practicable measures should be taken to prevent soil from entering the watercourse”. One water sample taken from a river that MCC worked on gave a turbidity (how clear the water is) reading of over a thousand times the drinking water level.
The road is being widened considerably where the council can “get away with it”, resulting in serious damage to fields, but more so to native trees growing along the route, hedgerows, plantation trees etc. Direct action by local people has saved more trees from needless and pointless destruction.

The flora and fauna has certainly taking a battering. However when National Parks and Wildlife were contacted they basically said the council can do whatever they want. No EIS was done, with MCC stating that none was needed as the road is not in an SAC, this although the road runs directly parallel to Srawaddacon SPA and at some time running under the bridges.

The traffic management plan is not being adhered to, with MCC attempting to portray the road affected as closed, despite having no permission to do so. In addition traffic is not being adequately directed through the 2 miles or so of currently affected road, being left to weave in and out of construction equipment (large machinery and trucks) in operation.
While Shell may be paying for this road widening, the work is being carried out by a very large section of Mayo Co. Co.’s road works crew, not contractors, with the trucks bringing the stone mainly contracted, as is normal procedure. This means that they are unavailable to do road improvement works in other areas.

Mid West radio have aired a show on the situation regarding the road on the 4th July ’08. On this MCC claimed that 70% of landowners have given permission for road widening, they reach this figure, I assume, by expressing the landowners as a percentage of the road length, and since Coillte own perhaps 60-70% of the land to be widened, the real figure is that around 3 or 4 landowners have consented, plus Coillte. 32 landowners or close residents on the road have signed up to be represented by a solicitor. 80% of the landowners have refused consent or indicated that they would refuse to give consent.

One of the few landowners to give permission to the council is local Shell stooge, Gerry McDonnell who sits as the community representative at the Project Monitoring Committee (PMC) meetings. At PMC meeting on the 13th of Feb 08, Mr McDonnell “expressed the appreciation of the community in regard to proposed road project from Terminal Building to Glengad which the developers are financing. You can read more on Mr McDonnell’s Shell dealings at http://www.indymedia.ie/article/86882

The original road is about 4 metres wide; the finished widening is over 8 metres (+ 3-6 metres of “clearance” at the side).
However it should be noted that the road widening was only sought up to Pollatomais school with the rest of the road to Glengad just being strengthened and resurfaced. This remaining section is already reasonably dangerous for even two cars travelling in opposite directions up Pollatomais hill and will be an accident waiting to happen if the Shell succeed in their plan to have over 200 trucks a day travelling on the road by the start of next year.

Whatever the outcome this road will (and has) become a lot more dangerous for regular local users, and once again shows how their concerns are ignored in the interests of Shell.

Related Link: http://www.westernpeople.ie/news/story/?trs=eykfaucwau

Illegal work done that still hasn't been reinstated
Illegal work done that still hasn't been reinstated

Keeping an eye out
Keeping an eye out

Don't worry: MCC claimed they checked for nesting birds first
Don't worry: MCC claimed they checked for nesting birds first

First victim of the new road
First victim of the new road

author by Apublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 16:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors


All these trees would have been destroyed only for local intervention
All these trees would have been destroyed only for local intervention

Electricity Pole hit in the landslide
Electricity Pole hit in the landslide

Related Link: http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.110mb.com/
author by Cpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 17:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Over the last few days Shell has also started to put up gating and fencing around the proposed Glengad landfall site. Last Tuesday at 4:40am, a convoy of trucks, diggers and workers escorted by 3 garda squad cars arrived at Glengad and began constructing a security perimeter along the road down to the landfall area. That evening some local residents succeeded in blocking the entrance for several hours. Yesterday one local resident was arrested while in on the site and was arrested for trespass however was later released without charge, with a file going to the DPP. The work involved has resulted in numerous large trucks and diggers driving around the SAC although as yet none of the new fencing has been constructed on the SAC.

There was also a very interesting programme on Midwest radio this morning in which Shell’s propaganda officer John Egan was challenged regarding the surveillance and videoing of members of the public around the Glengad area by Shell.

Fianna Fail poster put to good use
Fianna Fail poster put to good use



Working on the SAC
Working on the SAC


author by wowpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 18:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That last pic is pure hypocricy. I would like to go and visit over there- can you tell me where I should go to lend support? I would be travelling from Dublin. I have been meaning to do so for quite some time but have been very much involved in the Tara campaign and that has taken up a lot of my time. We are on the same side, Solidarity!

author by Chrissiepublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 19:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Buses from Castlebar or Ballina go all the way to Pollatomish - if y're driving, straight across Ireland, right @ Bangor Erris Grotto, right @ next T junction, past Bellanaboy Raw Gas Refinery site, next left is the infamous & ill-conceived road to Pollatomish, Glengad, & Barr na Tra - drive carefully, it's a fearful mess!
Shame on the despoilers of our precious land & trees.

author by Niall Harnett - Shell to Seapublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 23:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One local woman put it this way about Mayo County Council, when they came in the nesting season,

"They came, they smashed the trees and killed the birds"

Remember, Shell still have no permission for this newly proposed pipeline route, but they smash on regardless with the assistance of local government, central government, the courts, the Gardaí and all the 'environmental' agencies of the state. Complicit one and all.







author by Niall Harnettpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 23:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An Garda Síochána on duty to ensure and protect the vandalism, while they attempt to criminalise the local community for their opposition to this sick state of affairs.

Shame on you all for working on in Belmullet Garda Station.

Shell's cops - An Garda Síochána
Shell's cops - An Garda Síochána

author by lulupublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 08:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

And fair play to all those with the courage to protect the land and people in the face of intimidation and corruption. These are the people who are the living national heroes, having already endured years of living as a community under siege. They are defending not only their homeland and rights, but the whole environment of Ireland and everyone's human rights, and the heritage of the next generation.
Anyone who cares for our environment, fauna and flora needs to get to Erris and see how much the Government and authorities really care, despite all the greenwash talk.

author by Gracepublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Paraphrased Synopsis:

"Governments are typically more harmful than helpful and therefore cannot be justified (in their present form). Democracy (alone) is no cure for this, as majorities simply by virtue of being majorities do not also gain the virtues of wisdom and justice."

"The government is not just a little corrupt or unjust in the course of doing its otherwise-important work, but in fact, the government is primarily an agent of corruption and injustice."

Full text at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_%28Thor...au%29

Related Link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com/
author by C - RSCpublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 17:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell today began constructing their new fence in the Special Area of Conservation (SAC) in Glengad. This construction is almost certainly illegal as Shell have put in for planning for fencing along the road along with the pipeline planning but that is still before An Bord Pleanala.

This morning a member of the Rossport Solidarity Camp entered the site and refused to leave until he was shown proof that the correct permissions were in place for the work. This halted the work for approximately 1 & 1/2 hours. Over this time however no permissions were brought and no one except security would speak to him. Eventually the Gardaí arrived and after some discussion, they arrested the camper under the Housing & Miscellaneous, however he was later released from Belmullet Garda station without charge. At all times the camper stressed that he was willing to leave if it was shown to him that this work was legal.

In reply's to wow's looking for direction check out the new camp websites directions. Your more that welcome to come visit & stay at the camp house.

The view from over the landfall site
The view from over the landfall site

Looking for answers
Looking for answers

Taking a break
Taking a break

Come when ordered
Come when ordered

Related Link: http://www.rossportsolidaritycamp.110mb.com
author by Wowpublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 18:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the directions :)

The Gardai and private security work hand in hand at Tara too- but their orders come from higher up- same there . No wonder the majority voted NO. We are sick of being treated like this!

Be seein ya soon- and bringin some friends ;)

Related Link: http://www.tarapixie.net
author by John - .publication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 19:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is this the final kick form the shell to sea beast…..?

author by billy idlepublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 19:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting piece in todays IT about a vote in June by a two third majority of GP members passing a motion calling on Eamonn Ryan to direct Shell to cease operations at Bellanaboy/Rossport and find a more suitiable site for this refinery along the lines of the alternative site(glinsk on the North coast) proposed by StoS, local people and clergy with support already from MD Higgins TD and Michael Ring TD.

author by John - .publication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 20:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This proposal to relocate the terminal can only be viewed as an admission of defeat by shell to sea and its supporters,
A case of , too little far too late , it’s a saving face exercise now, one monumental failure after another and what makes it so hard to stomach that they , shell to sea were in the driving seat for so long .

author by billy idlepublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 20:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That your the best Shell has! - You let it slip badly the last day on MWR, still hurting by the sound of it.

author by Niall Harnettpublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done camper for what you did today?

Did you get any answer to your question?

Remember what Brendan Philbin always said when Shell tried to move into Rossport in 2005. 'All I ever wanted, and all I ever asked for was to be shown the paperwork to say what legal authority Shell had to enter the land'. He never saw it and was vindicated for his stance against Shell, but not until he had spent 3 months in prison with his neighbours for that legitimate stance.

You are repeating the same scenario camper. Much respect to you for your persistence and bravery.

You are doing the right thing.

The Law is a complete fuckin' Ass, when it come to the Gas.

Don't mind that Housing and Miscellaneous Provisions Act bullshit. It won't stand up in these circumstances.

(For information see: Section 24 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2002, which amends Section 19 of The Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994, here - http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/2002/en/act/pub/0009/sec....html

And again, since the cops are bringing up the issue of 'consent' in that Act ... what consent to Shell have to be in there working, at this stage?

author by John - .publication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 20:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Why is there little or no visible support?
Why are there no protests at gates 1 & 2 to the terminal?
Why has the national media moved on?
Why has the RSC moved base?
Why does shell to sea constantly change its spokes persons?
Why does shell to sea refuse to admit that they are finished?
Why do we see little or no postings on this site?
Why?....because they are finished.

author by billy idlepublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 21:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

1) Why have Shell learned nothing from what happened summer 2005?

2) Why do Shell assume that have got away with the dirty little deal they signed with corrupt politicians all those years ago? Luckily for them up to now the Irish public who are probabably the most apathetic in the Western world have not cottoned on to the signficance of this act of treason due mainly to the shortcomings of what passes for mainstream media in this country. However against the back-drop of a serious recession, soaring inflation in food and oil prices and the realisation that they've recently elected a bunch of incompetant fools back into governemnt, the chance of serious social unrest directed against those involved with the give-away and mismangement of the Corrib gas resource will rocket?

3) Why have Shell not learnt the lessons of Irish History? - ie when blood is spilt the people will react - Given that Shell by their actions in Erris have now chosen a route which will virtually guarantee this outcome

4)Why do you keep coming on here spouting BS eg. You know damn well that the RSC was moved after Shell put pressure on Mayo CC, hence the recent court case the stunk the county of Mayo with its hypocracy?

author by billy idlepublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 21:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE news tonight deleivered a delightfull piece of unintended irony tonight in its feature on ESB's steep price rise. They showed footage of a powerstation with a Shell tanker passing by - says it all really about the Irish people being screwed by scum!!

author by LPpublication date Fri Jul 11, 2008 22:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Good man Eoin. Fair play.

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Sat Jul 12, 2008 01:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting that the trolls are ordered out once more ... a sure sign it's far from over.

For the record, Shell to Sea - first named in Jan 2005 - has always and will continue to call for the wise and proper development of Corrib and all other oil/gas finds in this State(let). In the case of Corrib, that mean OFFSHORE processing, landbased connection in a BROWNFIELD location which does not mean Ballinaboy and will never, EVER mean Glengad (plus equitable return to citizens - Brian Ó Cathain is prepared to develop in Algeria at a 12.5% take; Algerians get 87.5%).

The people who share the S2S mindset - local, national and global - continue to learn as we go on (in the case of this rotten-run statelet dedicated to serving corporate demands, the more we learn the worse it gets) and it is a testament to all involved that, despite everything thus far thrown at us, we're still hangin' in there - no blinks, winks or wobbles.

It should be noted by trolls et al that Corrib was considered a fait accompli in 2001 and gas was expected to flow in Nov/Dec 2003. Despite all that's happened since, 'First Gas' is no closer now than it was then. The fact that Shell continues to build at Ballinaboy and desecrate Glengad (for the moment) is a sign of corporate stupidity and statelet subservience.

The fiscal regime for oil/gas exploration and development in this benighted statelet.

In 1992 oil traded at $10 a barrel; today's price $147.

Electricity rises by 17.5%; Gas by 30/40% - the Big Lie of Corrib is 'Security of Supply'.

Security of supply is available ONLY to those with the security of money to buy it back from $$$hell ... where's the money going to come from to buy back what was ours at the full market rate???

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Sat Jul 12, 2008 01:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fiscal regime has remained static since 1992.

author by paul o toolepublication date Sat Jul 12, 2008 09:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Petrol prices are nothing but profit taking. Theres no reason that oil is 142 a barrel other than they said it is . Blaming d 'downturn in the global economy' is a farce when oil was deliberately raised in price just like the 70's........and gas....theres no reason whatsoever for a rise in gas prices only an unwritten agreement that there is an 'artificial link' between the two....also since the 70's.
Since the big five control most oil and gas, it's no wonder the link.
How did BP post profit of 44 billion this first quarter. more than double last years first q.

How much is the gas worth now Bertie??. 400 billion, 6oo billion?? You gave away our most financially viable resource...free.

Chavez opened Conoco as a state opperation and you can 'fill up in Venezuela for a dollar'.... Why the 60 and 70 dollar fills..?? Profit for Shell, Exxon, Texaco, .
We will alll eventually be working for oil companies to stay warm and eat cooked food.directly or indirectly.

Fair play to all at Rossport who have stood up to be counrted as the state police support the rip off and degredation of their own kin.
Ang the politicians who provide the cover and run interfierence for them....Scum, them all.

author by Chrissiepublication date Sat Jul 12, 2008 11:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell to Sea is going strong as there are so many issues to address in this matter: the corruption in the gas giveaway, the imprisonment of the Rossport 5, the use of Gardai as Shell's security force & their shameful behaviour to the people they are sworn to protect, the rape of the environment, Shell's lawless behaviour, the threat to the whole environment of Erris (including SAC land), the health risks involved in refining raw gas onshore, the filthy & dangerous mess made of the Aughoose road by Mayo CoCo (who didn't check their facts before rushing ahead), all while money is being withdrawn from public services. What's happening in Erris is a picture of the way the country is being taken from its people.

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Sat Jul 12, 2008 22:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The scale of the land and sea assault on Erris is often lost in the vortex of spin and sycophancy surrounding the proposed Corrib Project (not forgetting the economic assault on this and future generations of people living in Ireland through the loss of ANY benefit from what ONCE belonged to the People).

EIFA (Erris Inshore Fishermen's Association) has treated $hell reasonably and decently since this sorry saga began; faraoir they have not been treated likewise by either $hell or what Éamon Ó Duibhir calls 'Official Ireland'.

EIFA are assembling at Ballyglass Pier on Monday next, 14th July, to draw attention to the very real threat to their way of life inherent in $hell's long-term plans for Ballinaboy.

Please see 'New Events' - if at all possible come to Ballyglass to show solidarity with the fishermen and their families.

$hell continues to think it can exercise the Niger Delta option in Erris - mercenary goons with statelet goon backup.It is up to everyone with an ounce of self-respect to stop what is happening in Erris, thereby ensuring the end of state/corporate thuggery here and elsewhere in what was once at least a half-decent country.

author by Chrissiepublication date Sun Jul 13, 2008 07:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Is Ireland going to belong to its citizens or its shareholders?
Was it wrong for the British administration to have Irish people beaten and intimidated, but acceptable for the Taoiseach and Garda Siochana to do so? Decide and act accordingly.

author by Deanpublication date Mon Jul 14, 2008 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Unlawful Bullying dressed up to look like 'Strong Government' ..."

For the full text of the e-mail associated with the above piece of text, dated October 25th 2006 (and which incidentally was over 8 months BEFORE the HUGE ancient heritage site at BARONSTOWN near the Hill of Tara was avoidably and unnecessarily destroyed, as described at http://www.humanrightsireland.com/IndyMediaIreland/4Jul...e.htm), please go to:


Though there have been some very small (yet very encouraging) signs of improvement recently, it seems there is still a huge amount of work to do -- if the rampant corruption in question, and its MANY disturbing consequences, are ever to be significantly reduced?

Related Link: http://www.humanrightsireland.com
author by Jo jopublication date Tue Jul 15, 2008 00:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As the noose of a major recession tightens with each passing day, people are slowly wakening up to the fact that we are giving away 13billion euros worth of gas. The price of gas will shortly increase again by up to 35% increasing the giveaway.
We will soon be paying exorbitant full market price for our own gas. This gas should have given us a huge economic advantage but instead we will have to compete for it with all other buyers.
What North Sea Oil did for Britain, Corrib Gas should be doing for us.
We should be in a position to ride out the recession but instead our government has sold us out.

author by krossie - wsm personal capacitypublication date Tue Jul 15, 2008 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

From Today's Irish Times:

"Some 30 boats and up to 100 fishermen from Killala, Belderrig, Blacksod, Porturlin, Frenchport and Rinroe moved into Broadhaven Bay at noon yesterday as a "show of solidarity".

Seems like there might be life in "the beast" yet


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