Corrib gas campaign is the mainstream view in Mayo

March 30, 2007 at 9:56 am | Posted in Articles | Leave a comment

It might be worthwhile briefly taking stock of where stands the campaign to reconfigure Shell’s project in North Mayo. Despite a concerted and coordinated effort to marginalise those opposing the current project by attempting to portray them as isolated and unrepresentative the reality is otherwise. Take the key issues raised by the campaign.

First, where should the gas be processed? 

On this key question, the latest Red C / Western People opinion poll showed that 55% want the gas processed off-shore and 7% want the project halted. 34% support the current proposal. This poll shows the same finding as all four previous local polls on the issue carried out by The Irish Times, TG4, The Mayo Advertiser and RTE. In other words, a clear majority in Mayo support off-shore processing.

Second, why do we have the Corrib gas conflict?

The Red C / Western People poll showed that 60% blame either the government or Shell and 30% local protesters. This is a clear ratio of 2:1.

Third, are there benefits arising from the current Corrib gas project?

It is clear that all fair observers now aknowledge that the financial deal under which Corrib is being developed is unfair and wrong. On last night’s Vincent Browne programme on RTE radio, all the election candidates from all the political parties present condemned the deal as disgraceful. In addition, Mayo County Council, Westport Town Council and Castlebar Town Council have voted in recent weeks unamimously in support of motions calling for a renegotiation of the deal. Ballina Town Council is due to do the same next week.

Clearly, the campaign to change the Corrib gas project is supported by a majority.  The campaign is the mainstream view in County Mayo. The argument has been won. We now need political leadership to implement the will of the people on this matter.


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