Corrib gas rights watchdog removed


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and Front Line Defenders have withdrawn their human rights observer appointed to monitor policing at the Corrib gas project in north Mayo, on completion of her six-month term of duty.

Australian observer Sarah Bassiuoni spent her last day as observer on the project on Friday, when Shell to Sea staged a demonstration at the Corrib gas pipeline work site at Aughoose and later outside the refinery at Ballinaboy.

The two human rights organisations had appointed Ms Bassiuoni last May on a six-month basis, following discussions last year with former minister for energy Eamon Ryan.

Amnesty and Front Line said the joint Corrib monitoring initiative was based on issues raised by Front Line’s previous research.

A Front Line report by barrister Brian Barrington, published in April 2010, recommended that an observer be appointed in the event that planning permission for the project’s onshore pipeline was given along a contested route.

Mr Barrington’s report also recommended that the Garda would co-operate with monitoring, and that the force should appoint a lawyer with relevant experience in human rights advice – to review police policies and practices and assist with planning.

His report for Front Line called for a reinvestigation of the complaint of assault made by Rossport farmer Willie Corduff in April 2009, and said this should be pursued by gardaí outside Mayo.

“The monitoring team is currently preparing a report that is expected to be published before Christmas,” Amnesty and Front Line said.