Cost of Corrib protests
Sir, – Tony Allwright (February 6th) blames protesters for denying the exchequer tax revenue from the Corrib Gas project. This blame is misdirected. The project has been delayed because Shell, encouraged by successive governments, believed it could save money by imposing an experimental inland refinery on an isolated rural community.
If you force a dangerous project on people, you can’t blame them for the delays that result from their opposition to it. When An Bord Pleanála examined the evidence in 2009, it agreed that the pipeline carrying raw gas to this refinery posed an “unacceptable” safety risk to local residents.
The long delays and huge cost over-runs could have been avoided, had the company not tried to make smaller savings by cutting corners at the start.
Using Mr Allwright’s logic, we could blame the Carnsore anti-nuclear protests of the 1970s for depriving Ireland of cheap electricity and tax revenue. And think of the jobs local people might still be enjoying at the nuclear power plant! – Yours, etc,