Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Bid to move Corrib truck 'farcical'

A truck containing tunnel-boring machinery got stuck at a junction

Efforts to move a jack-knifed 160-ton truck carrying machinery for a controversial gas project are farcical, campaigners have claimed.

As the 40m (131ft) vehicle continues to block a road in Co Mayo, protesters against Shell's Corrib scheme said it will take a miracle to move it.

One of the Rossport Five, Willie Corduff, was arrested earlier during protests over traffic disruption since the truck got stuck near the Glenamoy Bridge in Erris on Tuesday morning. Mr Corduff was one of five men who spent 94 days in jail in 2005 after refusing to agree not to protest against the project.

A spokesman for Shell confirmed efforts were ongoing to move the stranded vehicle. However tensions remain high between gardai and activists, who continue to gather around the stuck truck.

It was one of three vehicles transporting parts of a large tunnel-boring machine, which is being used to drill a 4.9km (3-mile) tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay and inland to the Bellanaboy Gas Processing Terminal.

It is understood part of the damaged road - which was not on the official haulage route - has fallen into the bog and a broken pipe has caused flooding

Terence Conway, from the Shell to Sea campaign group, claimed the fact it got stuck in the first place is evidence of the company's incompetence, saying: "It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt the incompetence of Shell and their inability to plan even a relatively simple thing, like driving a truck into a town."

On Tuesday, scuffles broke out as gardai and Shell security escorted the slow-moving convoy of specialist tunnelling equipment from Dublin to north Mayo.

A garda spokesman said four arrests had been made.

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