Republican News · Thursday 26 October 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Gas blow for West

Not only is the Irish economy not going to maximise its benefit from the huge gas reserves discovered in the Corrib field off the coast of Mayo, now the West and North west are also to be denied access to the new gas being piped ashore.

Bord Gáis has rejected calls from the Council of the West and Sinn Fein to build a gas pipeline to the North-West. Instead Bord Gáis will proceed with its plans to build a pipeline from Galway to Dublin.

Vincent Woods from Sinn Fein in Mayo told An Phoblacht that the party in the county have ``consistently argued that the region should accrue maximum benefit from the gas find off the Mayo coast line''.

He said that Seamus Caulfield from the Council of the West has made a presentation to Bord Gais showing that 35-40 miles of pipeline could bring North East Mayo, Sligo and even Donegal into the main ring.

Bord Gais claims that it would take 40 million to change their plans. This raises two questions. One, why were these areas not included in the original plan and two, 40 million is not that much money to make for a long term economic investment, so why are Bord Gais quibbling over the money?

Woods says that ``The tone of Bord Gais's position to date has been entirely commercial....but the people here are arguing for developments that factor in social and community interests''

``The government could move beyond rhetoric and show some genuine commitment to development here by becoming more proactive in encouraging Bord Gais to consider the alternative pipeline''.

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