Irish Times: Shell may go to court as Corrib land talks falter: “Shell E&P Ireland may seek a court injunction to gain access to land needed for the Corrib gas pipeline after talks broke down this week with north Mayo landowners.” (ShellNews.net) 15 Jan 05
Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent
Jan 15, 2005
Shell E&P Ireland may seek a court injunction to gain access to land needed for the Corrib gas pipeline after talks broke down this week with north Mayo landowners.
The firm, a major shareholder in the Corrib gas field, is understood to be examining a High Court injunction as one of the few options left to it if it wishes to proceed.
The high-pressure pipeline is intended to link the gas field 70km off the Mayo coast with the terminal or refinery which has been approved by Bord Pleanala for construction at Bellanaboy.
About seven landowners in Rossport, north Mayo, have denied Shell access, and a legal action against the firm has been filed, while almost 30 landowners have given permission.
Residents opposing the pipeline for safety reasons claim the compulsory acquisition orders issued by the Minister for the Marine apply to the former major shareholder, Enterprise Oil, rather than to Royal Dutch Shell.
Shell E&P Ireland, which took over Enterprise in 2002, says it has legal entitlement to the compulsory acquisition orders.
It has also defended its decision to seek Garda assistance earlier this week when visiting lands, and to videotape landowners.
One, Ms Monica Muller, says Shell "hid" a video-camera when she questioned why she was being filmed. She told The Irish Times that Shell representatives entered her land without permission and were deliberately provocative.
On Thursday night she received an unsolicited visit from a company representative to her house. Yesterday Ms Muller filed an official complaint with Mayo County Council about construction work and dumping at the Shell E&P Ireland construction site in Bellanaboy, which she said was outside the boundary marked on the planning application.
Supt Tony McNamara of Belmullet Garda station has confirmed that Shell and residents sought Garda assistance on two occasions earlier this week.
There was no trouble on either occasion, he said, and differences between the company and the landowners were a civil matter.
A spokesman denied Shell representatives were provocative when visiting landowners.
"While most landowners are agreeable to the use of their land, and have received compensation for the temporary loss of facilities, regrettably some landowners remain opposed to the construction of the pipeline and no agreement could be reached," the spokesman said.
The first of two High Court judicial reviews of the project has been listed for next Monday.