Shell machine remains stuck
Shell’s giant tunnel boring machine is expected to remain at an isolated Co Mayo crossroads for a third night, as residents questioned the ability of the boggy road to withstand the weight of heavy removal vehicles and some protestors vowed to continue their actions.
A Mayo County Council spokesman confirmed the local authority was continuing to work with oil company experts and hoped the machine and jack-knifed lorry would be removed within the next two days.
“It is envisaged that the problem will be resolved in the next 24 to 48 hours but that is contingent on the level of protest activity encountered. The protestors have already delayed the transportation of lifting equipment to the scene,” the council spokesman said.
He was referring to the fact that protestors from Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp impeded the progress of a crane to the site of the accident, at the Glenamoy crossroads, last night.
Veteran campaigner, Maura Harrington, confirmed she blocked the crane at Bellanaboy Bridge, after she heard it had left Ballina earlier. She said that another protestor from the Rossport Solidarity Camp then scaled the machine further delaying its progress.
After gardaí removed both protestors, the crane left the area.
When asked if she would desist from protesting to facilitate the removal of the jack-knifed lorry, Ms Harrington said “where there is opposition, there is resistance”.
Meanwhile, Mary Corduff, who lives in Rossport, a village cut-off for a time earlier this week due to the accident, has challenged the local authority’s assertion that the proper permits existed for this 170 tonne lorry to cross the tiny bridge at Glenamoy.
She said a council engineer told her that the bridge had not been surveyed.
Reportedly, the lorry proceeded to the Glenamoy crossroads on Tuesday morning after it failed to make a turn to its destination at Aughoose, the site for the subsea tunnel works that will connect the raw gas pipeline to the inland refinery.
“This whole fiasco is further proof that this community is under siege and has had valid worries for 12 years about Corrib gas. We cannot trust the people in authority and there is no transparency,” Mary Corduff said.