ISSUE 27. MARCH 2010
The Corrib Gas Partners have announced
that the successful Erris Third-Level
Scholarship Programme is to continue
for a further three-year period. The
announcement was made by Shell’s
Mayo Area manager, Mark Carrigy, at
the annual scholars’ function in Carne
Golf Club at the end of January.
The scholarships were introduced in 2007, as
part of the Corrib Gas Partners’ community
investment programme in Erris, and in the three
years of the scheme’s existence a total of 31
students from the four second-level colleges in
the community have benefited.
The successful applicants are awarded grants of
€4,000 each per year for the duration of their
chosen course. In total, the initial three-year
programme cost approximately €450,000.
Mr Carrigy said he was pleased that, following
a review of the initial programme, SEPIL had
decided to continue for another three years.
“Investment in the education of young people is
important for the future of every community and I
am delighted that we will be able to play a small
part in the continued growth and development
of Erris through this very worthwhile scheme,”
The review was conducted by the Independent
The 2009 scholarship winners are pictured with members of the Scholarship Board and SEPIL, at a recent
celebratory dinner at Carne Golf Club. Back row (l to r): David Barrett (Our Ladyʼs), Micheál Forde (St
Patrickʼs), Christy Loftus (SEPIL), Deborah Garvin (Coláiste Chomáin), James Doherty (St Brendanʼs). Middle:
Fr Kevin Hegarty, Christina McAndrew (St Brendanʼs), Elaine Doherty (St Brendanʼs), Seán Staunton (Board
Chairperson), Tony McGarry. Front: Breda Holmes, Dara Mangan (Our Ladyʼs), Ian McAndrew, Rachel
Gunning (Coláiste Chomáin), Mark Carrigy, Gráinne Conway (Our Ladyʼs) and Fiona Togher.
Scholarship Board, under the chairmanship of
Seán Staunton. The review concluded that ten
scholarships of €4,000 each would again be
on offer to students attending Coláiste Chomáin,
Ros Dumhach; Our Lady’s Secondary School,
Belmullet; St Brendan’s College, Belmullet, and
St Patrick’s, Lacken Cross.
An important departure from the initial
programme will see the scholarships opened
up to all students completing their Leaving Certs
at any of the qualifying colleges in 2010. For
the last three years the programme was open
only to students pursuing courses in certain
Scholarship Board chairman Seán Staunton
paid tribute to SEPIL for agreeing to fund the
programme for another three-year period.
“The scholarships are much sought-after and
prized by the students. Over the three years there
has been an excellent standard of application
and great credit is due to the students, their
teachers and their parents for their efforts,” he
The closing date for applications this year is
Friday, April 16, and application forms will
be available soon in the four colleges, from
the Corrib Natural Gas office in Belmullet and
online at www.corribgas.com.
The members of the scholarship Board are:
Seán Staunton (Chairman), Westport; Breda
Holmes, Geesala; Fr Kevin Hegarty, Carne;
Ian McAndrew, Belmullet, and Tony McGarry,
SEPIL explores route through Sruwaddacon Bay
Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) is
investigating the design of a section
of the onshore pipeline through
Sruwaddacon Bay, in response to
An Bord Pleanála’s (ABP) request for
further information of November 2
The letter from the Board expressed reservations
about the route through Rossport and the
proposed pipeline’s proximity to housing.
ABP suggested that SEPIL consider a route that
included a section through Sruwaddacon Bay
and requested that a revised Environmental
Impact Statement (EIS) be submitted, reflecting
this. This new information has to be sent to ABP
by 31 May, 2010.
Managing Director Terry Nolan is clear that
SEPIL has ‘absolute confidence in the safety
of the pipeline design as originally proposed’.
However, he says the company is committed
to addressing, as fully as possible, all matters
raised by An Bord Pleanála in its request for
As part of the technical considerations related
to the onshore pipeline, SEPIL has submitted
an application for a foreshore licence to drill a
number of boreholes in Sruwaddacon Bay.
Four young Mayo men employed at the
Bellanaboy terminal are set to expand
their apprentices training experience.
Kieran Barrett, Belmullet; Clement Sweeney,
Glengad; Justin Hargreaves, Lahardaun, and
Alan McDonnell, Foxford commenced work on
the gas terminal at Bellanaboy in 2007.
Now Mercury Engineering and Castlebar based
contractor Tony McManamon have combined
forces to provide an opportunity to complete their
Under an arrangement agreed with the contractor
they have commenced Phase 3 training, which
provides on-the-job experience. They started as
apprentices with Mercury in Cathal Shevlin’s
workshop in Belmullet doing pre-fabrication work
and since then have divided their time between
the terminal site and Sligo IT.
Mercury Engineering is the appointed contractor
Pictured is Mark Carrigy, who has
assumed the role of Mayo Area Manager
with the Corrib gas project. Mark will
divide his time between the terminal,
where he is the Operations Manager,
and the office in Belmullet. A native of
Donegal, Mark studied as a mechanical
On leaving university, he first worked in the
electricity-generating industry, commissioning
power stations in the UK and further afield. He
joined Shell in 1990 working on drilling rigs
and production platforms in the UK sector of the
Mark joined the Corrib project in 2001 as
the Operations Manager. In that role he has
responsibility for recruiting the permanent staff
who will operate the Corrib facilities, training the
staff and ensuring all operating and maintenance
The four apprentices are pictured with Ronnie Christie of Mercury Engineering, from left: Clement
Sweeney, Alan McDonnell, Justin Hargreaves and Kieran Barrett.
for the construction of the onshore gas reception
terminal at Ballanaboy Bridge, carrying out
Mechanical, Electrical and Instrumentation works
for the process areas and for the off-site and
The scope of work includes all piping, cable and
equipment installation and Mercury engaged
with local contractor Cathal Shevlin Engineering
to carry out the pre-fabrication of various systems
including closed drains, plant air and potable
Mark Carrigy, Mayo Area Manager
plans are in place in advance of the start of gas
production from Corrib. He will be responsible
for the day-to-day running of the Bellanaboy
terminal when it goes into operation.
Following a recent trade assessment, it emerged
that the apprentices were lacking in the domestic
plumbing side of their syllabus because the nature
of their work on the terminal was industrial.
They will now work with Tony McManamon to
gain experience in such areas as sanitary ware
installation, copper pipework, soil and waste
pipework, radiator fixing, hot water cylinder
installation and boiler installation.
A series of vital tests to prove the integrity
of the pipework and systems on the
Bellanaboy terminal site is planned to
commence this weekend, March 5 to 7.
The testing will continue, most likely, up
to the end of May.
The process involves pressurising sections of each
system with a nitrogen-helium mixture and then
checking the joints to be satisfied that the system
is leak-tight. When the testers are satisfied that
a given section is leak-free that section is vented
The tests are taking place late in the evening and
through the night. Most of the venting will happen
at night-time/early morning and at weekends.
The noise levels throughout the testing process
will be within the conditions laid down by Mayo
Over €5,000 raised for Haiti
Members of SEPILʼs Bellanaboy and Belmullet
staff organised a collection to help relieve the
distress caused to the people of Haiti following
the recent disastrous earthquake.
Pictured with the GOAL cheque for €5,332,
which was raised from voluntary contributions
by staff at the Bellanaboy terminal and the
Belmullet office, are the organisers of the
collection, from left: Mary Barrett, SEPIL HSE
Systems Co-Ordinator; Angela Tallott, PM Site
Secretary; Ciara Hynes, PM Administration
Manager; Ann Mylotte, Artec Facilities
Management, and Cliona Sinnott, SEPIL
Terminal Business Support.
Over 2,000 visit Bellanaboy site
A feature of the construction of the
Bellanaboy terminal has been the interest
shown in the project by local people. Since
the job started in October 2007 over 2,000
people have visited the site.
These include many people from Erris who
availed of the monthly tours organised by
community liaison officers John Cronin and
Mary Carolan in co-operation with members
of the site staff.
The visits also included many local elected
representives, media, business leaders,
community groups, members of the Institute
of Engineers of Ireland and student groups
from third level colleges.
Our photo shows a local group visiting the
site on January 30 this year.
Applications under Local Grants Programme on the rise
Eighty-six applications for funding
under the January round of the Corrib
Natural Gas Local Grants Programme
(LGP) were received by the closing date
of Friday, February 12.
The LGP is open to all Erris-based clubs, service
providers and sporting and cultural organisations
which can demonstrate that their projects meet the
criteria of being local, inclusive and sustainable.
Grants of between €1,000 and €10,000 may be
allocated and priority is given to the Kilcommon
parish where the terminal is located.
As well as Shell, the programme is supported by
the main contractors on the Bellanaboy terminal
including PM Group, Roadbridge Ltd, Mercury
Engineering Ltd, SIAC Butler Steel Ltd, Kilcawley
Construction Ltd and Hertel Ireland Ltd.
The breakdown of applications shows that there
were applications from Kilcommon (11), Kilmore
(16), Kiltane (15) and from Belmullet (19) with
additional applications from Ballycroy and Erriswide
The LGP is run on behalf of the Corrib Gas
Partners by Ms Fiona Togher, Community
Investment Advisor, who expressed satisfaction
with the number of applications.
“The demand for funding this year is up again on
last year and reflects the difficulties that voluntary
organisations face in these more challenging
economic times,” said Fiona.
She added that there will be a second round of
funding made available later in the year.
Clubs who missed the deadline for the January
round will be able to apply in July.
The death occurred suddenly on
February 10 in Harold Wood, Essex,
of Barry Pryor, a highly-regarded and
greatly-respected member of the Shell
design staff on the Bellanaboy gas
Barry’s death came as a shock to his wife
Brenda, to whom he was married for more than
40 years, his two daughters Kate and Liz, his
mother, two brothers and son-in-law, as well
as to the many colleagues and friends he had
made during his working life.
Barry joined the Corrib gas project with
Enterprise Oil over a decade ago. He joined
Shell in 2002, mainly working from Dublin
and more recently on the terminal site at
When he joined the team on the terminal and
came to reside in Belmullet, Barry mixed easily
with the community and quickly became a
valued member of the local bridge club.
His interest in bridge brought him into contact
with the local community and his relaxed and
easy style soon won him many friends. He
also had a keen and knowledgeable interest
in horseracing, cricket, football and modern
jazz and was also a wine buff with a particular
interest in Italian wines.
Members of the terminal workforce and the staff
of the Belmullet and Dublin offices stood in silent
tribute to Barry’s memory on Thursday, February
11. The funeral took place on February 23.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Castlebar native Simon Stanton has
joined Shell E&P Ireland Limited as
Commercial Manager. Prior to joining
Shell, Simon spent five years in
engineering and commercial roles in
Japan and the US.
Since joining Shell in London in 2001, he has
held various marketing and strategy roles in the
From 2006 he was with Shell Gas and Power
in The Hague, where he was mainly involved in
the development of new business ventures in coal
He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate from
Trinity College Dublin and also has a Masters
from the Smurfit Graduate School of Business
in UCD. Simon’s wife is Dutch and he has two
He enjoys learning languages,watching rugby
and has ambitions to improve his golf while
home in Ireland.
Professional profile — John Cronin, CLO
Name: John Cronin
Job title: Community Liason Officer
Native of: Carne, Belmullet
Where did you go to school?
Binghamstown N.S., Our Lady’s Secondary
School and St Brendan’s Vocational school
What did you want to be when you
were at school?
There was very little career guidance in my day.
My main concern was to get away from the farm
and milking cows.
What was your first job?
I took a job in a factory in Galway and then
worked for the ESB in Dublin for a short time
before joining Collen Brothers as a plant fitter
on the East Wall terminal. I learned there that
welding provided the opportunity to make good
money, and I undertook a pipe welding course
in ANCO- the forerunner to FÁS.
How did you get involved in the oil and
In the early ‘70s North Sea oil was in it’s infancy.
I was working as a welder in England and I
decided to try my luck in Scotland. I had a contact
number for Brown and Root in Invergordon and I
was soon working in a fabrication yard building
offshore platforms. I worked on the first platform
for BP’s Forties Field.
Where have you worked in the world
and in what roles?
In 1975 I went from Scotland to St John, New
Brunswick in Canada to work on the Irving Oil
Refinery. From Canada I went wherever the
job opportunities arose and I spent some time
in Mozambique on a major pipeline from the
port of Beira on the Indian ocean right into
an oil refinery at Mutari, Zimbabwe. I worked
for a while in South Africa and returned to
Zimbabwe as a welding foreman with Lonhro.
In 1984 I returned to Aberdeen to work for
AOC International. This provided me with the
opportunity to branch out into the world of
offshore hook-ups and the recruitment of teams
for offshore work. In that capacity I was again
involved in places such as Brunei, Malasia,
Thailand, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Georgia,
What have been the highlights of your
career, and why?
It was a great experience to work in these
countries and I was privileged to be in a position
John Cronin has 40 years of experience in
the global oil and gas industry.
to help orphanages and community development
projects. In Azerbaijan we set up an Irish Society
and inaugurated the St Patrick’s Day ball in Baku.
At one of these balls I had the British Ambassador
Roger Thomas and his wife as my guests and on
another occasion we brought out a band from
Tipperary for the St Patrick’s Day fundraiser. We
raised huge amounts of money all of which went
into worthy local causes. The Irish Society still exists
in Baku and last year raised €54,000 to continue
the work with local projects. In Kazakhstan we set
up a welding school in Tengiz and later expanded
it to include pipefitting and rigging to facilitate
training for local people wishing to work in oil
and gas industry. In Brunei we set up a welder
testing facility and as a result of those training
programmes the Ministry of Education presented
me with a certificate of acknowledgement. These
were some of the most satisfying ventures of my
Tell us something about the people you
met along the way.
One of the most enduring memories I have is the
friendliness of the local people many of whom had
very little but what they had they were prepared to
share with people such as myself. In return we tried
to share our knowledge and training with them.
We empowered many people to take up jobs in
oil and gas. In all of these travels I have to say
I never encountered anything but goodwill and
appreciation from the people I met.
What do you most enjoy about being
back in Erris?
After a decade in Central Asia I went to Mexico
working on the oil industry in the Bay of
Campeche. While I was working there I heard of
the Corrib Gas find and I was offered a position
by Enterprise Oil. I suppose I was getting over
the travel bug and I was also challenged by the
prospect of returning to work at the industry I
had spent my life in so I was pleased to accept
the offer that enabled me to re-connect with my
What advice would you give to anyone
starting out in the working world?
Don’t expect that you will have a “eureka”
moment and find the ideal job. Continue
learning, especially languages, embrace
technology, above all develop “safe working”
as a way of life and take care of your health
Be flexible, always understand what your boss
wants achieved before you tackle the job
What do you intend to do when you
leave the Corrib project?
Relax, develop my gardening and cooking skills
and drink Guinness.
John Cronin is retiring from the Corrib
project later this month. He has been
working as a Community Liaison Officer
here in Erris for the last eight years, during
which time he has re-established many links
he had in his native community prior to his
travels. Through his warm and engaging
personality, he has also built strong and
deep relationships with numerous other
individuals and groups within the Erris
community, all based on mutual respect
and a mutual desire to see the community
He has also gained the respect and goodwill
of the many colleagues he has worked with
over the years, all of whom have benefited
from his knowledge and understanding of
the community and his generosity in sharing
his knowledge and experience.
John is wished well in the future by his many
colleagues and friends on the project.
Many positive initiatives have been
taken on the Corrib project to highlight
the importance of health and safety, but
one of the most impressive, effective
and moving was provided by James
Gorry when he addressed workers at
Bellanaboy and Belmullet.
For 25 years James ran his own construction
company. In October 2005, his life was
dramatically changed following life-threatening
injuries when he fell through a roof.
He is now a Health and Safety Presenter who
conveys a dramatic message to his audiences:
“I don’t want what happened to me to happen
As a result of the fall, he spent a year in hospital.
Two months of that year were spent in intensive
care; the rest of the time he spent in rehabilitation
in Dun Laoghaire.
In very simple, plain language he spoke of his
accident, his injuries, his fight-back to health,
his moments of dark despair, his good times,
the impact on his family, the burden he placed
James Gorry delivers powerful safety message
on others and, most importantly, the necessity to
take simple safety precautions when working on
any stage of a construction project.
For more information contact:
Christy Loftus, Corrib Project Information Office,
Belmullet, County Mayo. Tel. 00 353 (0)97-27100