Efforts to move truck ‘farcical’

Efforts to move a jack- knifed 160-tonne truck carrying machinery for a contentious gas project were deemed farcical yesterday by campaigners.

As the 40m vehicle continued to block a road in Co Mayo, protesters against Shell’s Corrib scheme said it would take a miracle to move it.

One of the Rossport Five, Willie Corduff, was arrested yesterday during protests over traffic disruption after the truck got stuck near the Glenamoy Bridge in Erris on Tuesday morning.

Mr Corduff was one of five men who spent 94 days in jail in 2005 after refusing to agree not to protest against the project.

A spokesman for Shell confirmed efforts were ongoing to move the stranded truck. It was one of three vehicles transporting parts of a large tunnel-boring machine, which is being used to drill a 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay and inland to the Bellanaboy Gas Processing Terminal.

It is understood part of the damaged road — which was not on the official haulage route — fell into the bog and a broken pipe had caused flooding.

Terence Conway, from the Shell to Sea campaign group, claimed the fact the truck got stuck in the first place was evidence of the company’s incompetence.

“It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the incompetence of Shell and their inability to plan even a relatively simple thing, like driving a truck into a town,” he said.

Mr Conway maintained the organisation would have to get help from Captain Kirk from Star Trek to move the truck. “It will be a case of ‘beam me up, Scotty’ if that thing is going to go anywhere,” he said.

“It’s absolutely ridiculous, completely farcical.”

On Tuesday, scuffles broke out as gardaí and Shell security escorted the convoy of specialist tunnelling equipment from Dublin to north Mayo.

A Garda spokesman said four arrests had been made.

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