Shell assessing damage to 'Solitaire'

Thu, Sep 11, 2008, 01:00

Shell has said it cannot yet say what impact the damage to the pipe-laying vessel Solitaire will have on the Corrib offshore gas pipeline project.

The ship was damaged accidentally yesterday and was withdrawn from Broadhaven Bay.

In a statement today, Shell said the Solitaire has now returned to Killybegs, where a full assessment of the damage is underway.

“At this stage it is not clear what impact the damage to the vessel will have on the 2008 offshore works programme which would still require a suitable weather window,” Shell said.

“A further update will be issued once further information becomes available.” Protests continued at the site of the gas project yesterday.

Three men and a woman arrested for alleged public order offences were released from custody last night. This followed the release from custody of three other people - two men and a woman - earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, one of the most prominent campaigners against the gas pipeline, Maura Harrington, said today she was continuing on hunger strike and would do so until the Solitaire had left Irish territorial waters.

Ms Harrington told The Irish Timesshe had seen a doctor today but declined to say whether she had been advised against her action.  She said she was taking fluids, but no food, since 6pm on Tuesday.