Rossport Five - Direct talks should find solution

The Corrib Gas Field saga is not over yet. One episode was determined in the High Court yesterday when the court decided that the Rossport Five are not to serve any more time in jail, although they are liable for Shell’s costs.

In the event, it was a welcome and popular decision and affords all the parties a chance to concentrate now on the central problem.

It would be judicious if the company did not pursue the question of costs, to which they are entitled, in the spirit of seeking a resolution of the main issue.

The men had already served 94 days in Cloverhill Prison because their opposition to Shell E&P Ireland’s laying of a gas pipeline, as part of the €900 million Corrib gas project, caused them to be in contempt of court.

But the substantive issue still remains to be resolved, and that is the mens’ concern about the safety of the gas project in relation to their homes and the fact that they want to prevent the pipeline going through their land.

They maintain their position is unchanged but after yesterday’s hearing, Shell called for direct dialogue with the principal objectors and this is a route that should be adopted.

It must be within the capability of all concerned that an equitable solution be found.

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