In early February the Partners in Faith team visited the Erris region to learn about the proposed Corrib Gas pipeline which is due to be laid along Sruwaddacon Bay and what effect it has had on local people. While we were there we stayed in McGraths of Pullathomas. Paddy and Bridie McGrath run a pub and B&B on the shore of Sruwaddacon Bay along which the proposed pipeline runs.

 


On our first evening we were invited by Niall and Carol for a meal, a chat and finally a sing-song with their friends and neighbors. They moved recently from Co.Clare and are now living in the area. Niall has been involved with the Rossport Solidarity Camp for some years now. On the following day we met with Michael and Caitlin O'Seighin (see pic on left) for some tea and chat. Caitlin served up some delicious crab's claws while we were there courtesy of Pat 'The Chief' O'Donnell. Michael, a native Irish speaker, has been very active in his opposition to the project and recently made a submission along with many other local groups to the Planning Board's Oral Hearing on the pipeline last September.


We also visited the Rossport Solidarity Camp (see pics on right) and met Kate, Eoin and Mini. (We met Eunan later who treated us to a tune on the bagpipes). Again the welcoming spirit prevailed and we were shown around the house and the garden. As Kate showed us around the garden she gave us the leaves from three different types of lettuce they grow. I can still taste the flavours! The Camp is largely self-sufficient with a wind-powered generator whizzing away behind the house.


Later in the day we visited Terence Conway of Shell to Sea and we spent the second evening with Jimmy and Winifred who are originally from Scotland but moved back to the area some years ago. Winifred's grandmother emigrated from Pullathomas early last century.


Everywhere we went we were struck by the hospitality we received and the honest and open way people shared with us about how their lives and their community had been affected  by the pipeline. It was a very special trip for the team with one of the group describing it as a "life-changing experience". Our thanks to all the people we met for the hospitality and warmth we received.


 

   

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