Warm welcome and congratulations to Willie Corduff

April 23, 2007 at 8:05 am | Posted in Statements | Leave a comment

I extend my warmest congratulations to Willie Corduff on being awarded the prestigious Goldman Prize. The award is a fitting acknowledgement of the efforts by Willie, his family and all of those involved in the long-running campaign to re-configure the Corrib gas project. The award constitutes a very significant international validation of the merits and legitimacy of that campaign.

While Willie Corduff and four other men were in jail in 2005 it was my privilege and honour to act as their spokesperson. Throughout this terrible ordeal and subsequently, Willie and the other men conducted themselves with dignity and integrity. Their concern has been at all times to protect themselves and their community’s health and safety. They have defended values of great importance such as community, health and safety, environmental integrity and democracy. This award is a due and appropriate recognition of those values and of the courage of those who asserted them.

Despite last Wednesday’s High Court decision which brought the pipeline component of Shell’s project to a halt, the issues animating the campaign remain unresolved. In the opportunity now presented I repeat once again the call that I have made with Dr Jerry Cowley TD for the immediate establishment of an Independent Commission which can determine the optimum model for developing the Corrib gas project according to the key criteria of best technology and community consent. The Corrib gas conflict needs to be solved not prolonged.

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