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Shell E&P Ireland’s perspective on “The Pipe” film which was broadcast recently on TV3

‘The Pipe’ which was filmed between 2006 and 2008 is a wonderfully-shot documentary with some fantastic scenery. It tells a compelling human story but unfortunately provides little explanation of the events it chronicles.

The story is told from a number of different individuals’ perspectives, all of whom are opposed to the Corrib project. There is no obvious attempt at balance. Shell E&P Ireland did not take part in the filming of ‘The Pipe’ as we felt from an early stage that the programme-maker was not going to give us a fair hearing. Indeed several well known supporters of the project from the local area were interviewed at length for “The Pipe”, but their contributions were edited out of the film.

Sadly “The Pipe” doesn’t attempt to engage or examine any potential solution around the core issue; namely how to evolve Ireland’s planning system so that there is meaningful public participation in the planning/permitting process, by communities which are likely to be impacted by planned developments.

Ireland needs an open channel for dialogue between industry, objectors and regulatory authorities - to clarify issues and resolve disputes, so that difficulties like those initially experienced by the community and the Corrib Gas Partners are averted in the future.

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