Tuesday, November 27, 2007


A Fr Kevin Hegarty does some gentle yet precise skewering of the Shell to Sea NIMBYs in today's Irish Times...

'Shell to Sea has a plethora of spokespersons. It is difficult to know who
actually speaks for it. The emphases sometimes vary but the mood music is
similar. They all express an angry frustration with people who do not accept
their dark visions of a future with Shell.

According to last Wednesday's Irish Times , Mary Corduff, one of these
spokespersons, now has no confidence in the EPA. On what authority does she base her claims that her view is superior to the considered reflections of a
reputable and independent agency? I think we should be told.

I believe that Shell to Sea should recognise that support for their
intransigent stand has dropped significantly. Former Mayo independent TD Jerry
Cowley's passionate engagement with their cause did not translate into support
for him in the Erris region in the general election. He failed to get a majority
of the votes even in the areas most affected by the project.

The number of daily protesters at Bellanaboy has dwindled. It is
occasionally swollen by the importation of serial environmental protesters from
far places. These people arrive as dawn breaks over Bellanaboy. They march along the road, tangle with the Garda and shout insults at workers entering the

By early afternoon they have fled the scene. In the evening, in the
comfort of their homes, they watch on the news the colourful fodder they have
earlier provided in distant Mayo. How meaningful is that?

Many people fear that the Shell to Sea opposition to the Corrib gas
project has toppled into extremism. To use a phrase, beloved of its supporters,
there is no "community consent" for the badgering of gardaĆ­ as they seek to
maintain the rule of democratic law at the gates of Bellanaboy.

Shell to Sea has gambled too long in the environmental casino on an all or
nothing approach. Moderation is the only game in the last-chance saloon.'

All very reasonable - so will probably be ignored as a result.
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