People & Power
Green Fields and Gas
The residents of Rossport, Ireland are taking on Shell over plans to build a pipeline.
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2007 14:21 GMT

The sentiments of Rossport made clear
The West Coast of Ireland is an evocative place.  For some it is an area of wild and rugged beauty, for others it can seem a tragic, forlorn place, still associated with a terrible era in Irish history; a time of poverty and famine.

For the moment, it is also the scene of an exceptionally bitter conflict between an oil consortium, headed by Shell, who want to build a pipeline inland from an offshore gas field, and residents of one of Ireland's remotest communities, Rossport in County Mayo, who are determined to stop it.

The campaigners argue that the high-pressure pipeline poses a serious threat to safety and the environment. After a series of clashes between police and protesters, the dispute has become a regular news feature in Ireland, the UK and the US, intensifying pressure on Shell to alter their plans. 

Shell, however, insist that they are acting responsibly and that their facilities are being built to the highest possible safety standards. Proponents of the scheme also argue that the gas is vital if Ireland's thriving economy is to continue its strong period of growth.

In this episode People & Power investigate a classic David and Goliath conflict, the conclusion of which may have far reaching implications. In a global climate of increasing hostility to corporations and the exploitation of national resources, the film examines the relationship between big business and the individual.

Watch this episode of People & Power here:

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