The People, the pipe and the E540 oil and gas giveaway
Report from Belmullet Public Meeting 21st Jan 2011
The Belmullet Public Meeting was a great success and after hearing the ABP decision the day before, was a good chance to reflect on all the achievements of the campaign these last 11 years and why it is still the ‘wrong project in the wrong place’.
Afri Chair and economics lecturer Andy Storey spoke to a packed room about the great gas giveaway and how other countries have successfully renegotiated the deal.
He explained how easy it would be for Ireland to do this with all Irish gas and oil including Shell’s Corrib Gas Project.
The relevant clause is available on the website of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources:
‘’The Minister may, for such period as the Minister deems necessary, require that specified exploration, exploitation, production or processing activities should cease…subject to conditions which the Minister may specify, in any case where the Minister is satisfied that it is desirable to do so in order to reduce the risk of injury to the person, waste of petroleum or damage to property or the environment. No claim for compensation may be made against the Minister on foot of any such requirement.’’
Local resident and long term campaigner Niall King gave an excellent talk including a reading of 'Places we love' by the Serbian poet Ivan V. Lalić. The poem's final line ' places we love we never leave' perhaps explains why the community here is so determined to stop Shell destroying this place.
John Monaghan explained the flawed An Bord Pleanala decision and the very real dangers of the proposed project.
Sister Majella alerted the meeting to the recent military attacks in the Niger Delta which killed 55 civilians in the village of Ayakoromo and reminded us of Shell's and other oil business tolerance of such impunity and the ongoing destruction in the region. There was a display of photographs of the broken village at the meeting taken on the 1-2 December 2010.
People signed the petition which requested the Irish Government to convey to the Nigerian Government their distress at the level of military impunity in the Niger Delta where the oil companies operate. Almost 100 people signed the petition which was immediately forwarded by post to the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Find out more about Shell in the Niger Delta and human rights abuses here http://www.mosop.org
More information on the campaign & oil and gas giveaway can be found here http://www.shelltosea.com