Corrib gas timeline: 20 years of protests and controversy
Shell sells stake marking milestone in project beset by problems and court cases
Gardaí engage in a shoving match with protesters outside the Corrib gas terminal site in Ballinaboy, Co Mayo. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA
Energy company Shell has sold its 45 per cent stake in the Corrib gas field to a unit of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in a deal worth $947 million (€830 million).
Below is a timeline of the controversial gas field’s past.
1996 – Corrib gas field discovery declared by Enterprise Energy Ireland Ltd, which submitted plans to pump it ashore and build an onshore refinery in north Mayo.
2001 – Government petroleum lease granted for Corrib field
May 2002 – Minister for the marine Frank Fahey signs compulsory acquisition orders for access to private lands in and around Rossport for onshore pipeline route
April 2003 – An Bord Pleanála refuses planning permission for Ballinaboy onshore terminal.
Inspector Kevin Moore describes it as the “wrong site” from a strategic planning, balanced regional development, environment and sustainable impact perspective.
September 2003 – Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and two ministers meet the Shell president and senior management in Dublin. Revised application for gas terminal subsequently submitted by Shell.
October 2004 – new planning application for onshore terminal approved by An Bord Pleanála with 42 conditions.
June 2005 – High Court jails five men who became known as the “Rossport Five” for contempt of court over their continued protests over the pipeline route.
September 2005 – The “Rossport five” released after Shell drops injunction.
May 2006 – Government safety review by consultants recommends limiting pressure in pipeline to 144 bar
July 2006 – Government mediator Peter Cassells recommends modification of onshore pipeline route
November 2007 – Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grants emissions licence for Ballinaboy terminal.
April 2009 – Rossport farmer Willie Corduff hospitalised after assault
June 2009 – Shell to Sea supporter Pat O’Donnell and crewman rescued after his boat sinks off Erris Head in unexplained circumstances
August 2009 – Canadian company Vermilion confirms purchase of Marathon stake in Corrib gas project
November 2009 – An Bord Pleanála finds up to half of modified pipeline route is “unacceptable” on safety grounds
January 2010 – Former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday launches Afri petition supported by Archbishop Desmond Tutu calling for suspension of work on Corrib, pending an independent investigation.
January 2011 – Third pipeline route up Sruwaddacon estuary approved by Bord Pleanála.
April 2011 – Garda Ombudsman investigation initiated after gardaí are recorded laughing and joking about raping women they had arrested at Corrib gas protest.
September 2013 – German contractor Lars Wagner killed during work on the Corrib gas underground tunnel.
May 2014 – Work is completed on the Corrib gas tunnel, the longest of its type in Europe.
December 29th, 2015 – Final consent for project granted by minister for energy Alex White, and first gas pumped ashore.
September 2016 – Shell Ireland fined €1,000 and ordered to pay €15,000 in legal costs for causing light and noise pollution from a gas flare in a case taken by the EPA.