Politics and pipelines
Emergence of the Corrib gas conflict
in Gas, oil and the Irish state
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Corrib gas was discovered in 1996 and its developers and some politicians originally presented it as a panacea for the socio-economic woes of rural, west Mayo. However, the reality of the project has had an opposite effect and Corrib gas has become synonymous with social upheaval, remaining un-produced eighteen years after discovery. This chapter traces the emergence of the Corrib gas conflict (1996-2005), discussing the gas discovery and the consortium’s interactions with the community living in the area designated as a home for the onshore gas processing terminal and pipeline. As the consortium progressed their plans for the project, local people began to develop concerns about its location on health, safety and environmental grounds. Utilising interview data from the range of stakeholders associated with the development, this chapter illustrates the diversity of opinions towards the project and ascertains the basis of growing opposition. This chapter lays the foundation for the overall book, illustrating how flaws within the state and oil companies’ approach contributed to the emergence of a conflict around the onshore location of the project, the escalation of which is examined in detail in the following chapter.

Gas, oil and the Irish state

Understanding the dynamics and conflicts of hydrocarbon management


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