Irish Times: Pipeline declared 'invalid' sale item on eBay: “Jokes apart, uncertainty continued in north Mayo yesterday over the future of mediation talks between Shell and the five men recently released from prison…”: Saturday October 22, 2005
Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent & Patrick Logue
An "experimental gas pipeline - unwanted by local people" in Co Mayo - fetched all of eight bids on the eBay Internet auction site yesterday before it was declared an "invalid" item.
The "used" pipeline at Rossport was placed on eBay at 10pm on Thursday, with bids starting at 1.50 and making 21 by yesterday morning.
The item was described as a "large welded steel pipeline intended to pump raw untreated odourless (and extremely dangerous) natural gas from the bottom of the sea through a residential area on Ireland's beautiful and historic north-west coast".
It was further described as "unsuitable for present location on health and safety grounds" and "illegally placed on site without consent of government or local people". Its condition was "slightly rusty" and its length was "three kilometres", with "another six kilometres if anyone wants it".
"The people of Ireland have reacted a bit preciously to the idea of a few of them being blown up while Shell make a lot of money taking their natural resources, heaven knows why," the posting continued. The auction date was set at 21 hours GMT on October 30th.
Jokes apart, uncertainty continued in north Mayo yesterday over the future of mediation talks between Shell and the five men recently released from prison due to the decision of the Minister for the Marine to seek legal advice on a possible postponement of an order issued by him to Shell over three months ago.
Shell began complying with the order last Tuesday when it started de-welding an illegally assembled section of pipe. However, the department said that half of the de-welding staff had returned to Italy to visit a pipeline project there.
The Shell to Sea campaign says that the Minister's order must be complied with in full if there is to be any faith in the department's regulatory regime for the Corrib gas project.
Shell E&P Ireland said yesterday that it was "disappointed" with claims that it had delayed urgent environmental works at its site. "Such claims are simply untrue," it said. "During the summer period, Shell was physically prevented from accessing its sites by protesters."
The Shell to Sea campaign has refuted this claim, saying that it had facilitated any requests for urgent environmental works.
"The company will continue to proceed with cutting the welds on the pipeline in line with the Minister's instructions," Shell said. "Should the Minister issue any alternative instructions to the company in regard to the pipeline, the company will also comply with those."
The Minister is expected to make a decision on possible deferral early next week.
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