Ministers to meet in Belmullet as anti-Shell tensions mount

The Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources Eamon Ryan and Minister for Community, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs Éamon Ó Cuív will attend the Community Forum for Development in North West Mayo in Belmullet this Monday, during a chaotic period where escalating tensions in the local community continue to grow .

The three hour forum, chaired by Joe Brosnan, will take place between 2pm and 5pm in the Broadhaven Hotel, where locally elected representatives, representatives from Government departments, Mayo County Council, State agencies, and the gardaí will be present.

This is the fourth meeting in over seven months where ministers have tried to calm tensions and facilitate dialogue on local issues relating to the Corrib Gas project. However, speaking to the Mayo Advertiser, Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington said the “funny forum” does not have the “bone fide acceptance” from the local groups and that only invites “the usual suspects” to take part in discussions.

The forum’s timing comes in wake of dramatic claims last week from Erris fisherman, Pat O’Donnell, that his boat was sunk intentionally by “four masked men”. Other disturbances in the Belmullet area last week led to eight arrests at Glengad beach for public order offences and damage caused to trucks belonging to a quarry supplier of the Corrib gas project.

 

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