Shell refuses to waive Rossport Five injunction02/09/2005 - 14:49:44
Energy giant Shell today rejected calls to waive a High Court order in a bid to secure the release of five men jailed for protesting against the company’s controversial gas pipeline in Mayo.
The company said it had already made a number of concessions to the Rossport men and could not consider asking for the injunction to be lifted.
A spokesman for Shell said work had been halted both on the onshore and offshore sections of the line from the Corrib gas field. He also claimed 220 workers had been laid off as a result of the delay in works.
He said this had given the men the perfect opportunity to purge their contempt, which the President of the High Court had suggested.
“SEPIL has already made a number of concessions such that there is no reason for the men to remain in prison,” Shell said in a statement.
“The President of the High Court has stated that the ready solution to freeing the imprisoned men would be for them to purge their contempt of the High Court order. The company continues to explore all other possible avenues that would allow them to do so.”
Opposition party leaders, Pat Rabbitte of the Labour Party and Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny, had called on lawyers on both sides to examine previous cases were an injunction had been lifted or contempt purged.
But Shell said while their legal team would meet with the men’s lawyers to discuss a possible way forward the injunction had been granted in order to protect work in the future.
“The injunction is necessary in the event of any party obstructing our work at some future date, even if the current concerns of the landowners are addressed,” the company statement went on.
“It is precisely for this reason that SEPIL cannot consider waiving the injunction or the protection which it affords the company in the future.”
Shell said case history had been examined in a bid to reach a compromise. But lawyers for the company said they did not see sufficient parallels with the Corrib gas pipeline dispute.
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