Members of Mayo County Council have described today's meeting with five men imprisoned in Cloverhill Prison because of their protests at the Corrib gas pipeline as difficult.

Fine Gael Councillors Henry Kenny and Paddy McGuinness held a two-hour meeting with the men this morning to discuss possible options that could secure their release.

Mr McGuinness said this included a re-routing of the pipeline but he admitted Shell remain opposed to any off-shore solution.

Dr Mark Garavan of the Shell to Sea Campaign said it was ludicrous to expect the men to agree to anything while they are in prison.

The five say they will only purge their contempt if Shell lifts the High Court injunction against them.