The Department of Energy has confirmed that it has been investigating reports of “sinkholes” or “depressions” on a north Mayo tidal estuary where the final section of the Corrib gas pipeline is being laid.
The company says they are “not sinkholes” but are “shallow temporary depressions of approximately one to two feet in depth”.
However, residents living along the pipeline tunnel route through Sruwaddacon estuary – a special area of conservation (SAC) – say that some of the holes are up to three metres deep and three metres wide.
Terence Conway of Inver and Shell to Sea said that when the hole occurs, the surrounding sand bears a “blue tinge” and is unstable.
Mr Conway noticed the first in a series of holes on May 20th, again on June 14th, and each day during this first week of July, at Aughoose.
The areas lies above where the 500 tonne boring machine – named Fionnuala by Shell after one of the Children of Lir – has been deployed to dig a 4.9km sub-sea tunnel.
“The contractors for Shell have staff out at 5am on the strand, raking over these holes, but no caution signs have been erected in spite of our requests,” he said.
“This is a public strand, and so at one point we put up our own fence to warn people, but it was taken down,” Mr Conway said.
“Adults might be ok, but these are a risk to children. We were told we wouldn’t feel or see this work on the surface at the Bord Pleanála oral hearing nearly three years ago.
“We argued at the hearing that it was not suitable to try to dig a tunnel through an SAC, and one with the particular fluid subsoil here known as dóib.”
The Department of Energy said that the developer had notified it about “depressions in Sruwaddacon.
The department’s consultant tunnelling expert undertook a site review earlier this week, and the “depressions” were being “considered” in this context, it said.
Shell E&P Ireland said that regular “interventions” for maintenance and inspection of the tunnel-boring machine included changing cutter heads.
“This involves the use of compressed air at the front of the machine to protect the workers and to maintain stability at the tunnel face,” it said in a statement to The Irish Times.
RAGE AGAINST THE BORING MACHINE
Come to act in solidarity with the campaign in Mayo against Shell’s Corrib Gas Project. For over 12 years, the local community have been resisting Shell’s plans to force through a high pressure raw gas pipeline and inland refinery. Local people have gone through all possible channels to fight the project.
Let down by the Government; many have been beaten, imprisoned and feel under siege by the security and police. However people continue to protest in order to protect their families, livelihoods and resources. Currently Shell are attempting to tunnel under an EU ‘protected’ estuary with their tunnel boring machine but they are experiencing major construction problems. If they are having difficulties without protests, imagine how much havoc a little more disruption will cause. Rossport is the frontline of the resistance to ‘Extreme Energy’ extraction in Ireland.
Hot on the heels of the anti-G8 protests, we warmly invite old and new faces to come join us for a week of action against Shell’s disastrous project.
If you are new to taking action don’t worry – all kinds of skills and roles are needed during the week of action and you will be able to play a role that you are comfortable with. If you know the area and have ideas for action – get prepared and come with an affinity group if possible.
History of the campaign – The story so far
The campaign against Shell’s inland refinery and high-pressure pipeline, the ‘Corrib gas project’ near Rossport in Co Mayo has been long and extraordinary. It began in the year 2000 when a plan was announced to build an inland gas refinery and a 9km ultra-high pressure raw gas pipeline through several villages. In 2005 the imprisonment of five local men who became known as ‘the Rossport Five’ brought the campaign to national and international attention. Residents launched a national campaign called Shell to Sea in early 2005, demanding that the gas be processed offshore away from communities. Local residents and their allies continue to oppose the threat to local health and safety as well as highlighting human rights concerns, environmental damage and economic injustice. Over the 13 years of resistance so far, tactics have ranged from High Court actions, planning objections and lobbying politicians to grassroots campaigning, civil disobedience and direct action. Through a combination of these tactics the community and their supporters have delayed Shell’s project for 10 years to date and more than tripled the cost of the project to over €3 billion. Over the past eight years thousands of people have come to the area to lend their support – for days, weeks and years. Rossport Solidarity Camp was set up in 2005 and since then has hosted people from around Ireland and the world seeking to learn about and support the struggle. This week of action is hosted by Rossport Solidarity Camp.
For a good timeline of the campaign see this previous Rossport Indymedia Feature.
In January 2013, Shell began a 5km-long tunnel through Sruwaddacon estuary, a Special Area of Conservation which they plan to use for their onshore raw gas pipeline. Shell now says the project will be completed in 2015. At the time of writing, Shell are experiencing very serious difficulties in attempting to tunnel through the subsoil underlying the estuary. Shell have also begun laying the other sections of the onshore pipeline and are also building a valve station at Glengad. The project still has no community consent, and has only got this far because Gardaí and private security are occupying the area. Local experience of this occupation can be viewed here.
The tunnel boring machine, insultingly named Fionnuala (an Irish mythological legend) and painted in the Co. Mayo colours, has faced problems since its arrival in July 2012 which was met with stiff resistance [ 1 | 2 ].
Shell’s dodgy construction headache is not limited to the pipeline. Just last week, a Shell worker accidentally cut one of the gas pipes on the refinery. The refinery was completed back in 2010 and has just been left to rust due to all the other delays. Shell are currently having to replace all the water pipes on site due to corrosion.
Protests are still ongoing but the focus is on the week of action in June.
Week of action Friday 21st to Sunday 30th of June
Whether you have been always meaning to visit or have been a regular over the years, this week is the time to come.
Programme for the Week:
The events planned include:
* Update on the Shell Corrib Gas Project
* Talk by local community members the campaign and current situation.
* Legal Workshop – practical information about laws, dealing with the Gardaí, Courts.
* Action planning meetings.
* Actions to disrupt Corrib Gas Project, including disrupting Shell truck movements which are necessary for tunnelling.
* Solidarity events with the local community.
* Discussion on maintaining solidarity in the future.
Check here for the full programme.
* Get you & your mates ready to come over in June
* Put on a film night/talk/fundraiser for Rossport
* Help spread the word: put up posters online, in your city and everywhere else.
* We need help building the camp from 1st June. No experience or skills necessary, all welcome.
* Come for the action camp 21st-30th June. Bring your tent, sleeping bag, waterproofs & wellies.
Travelling to Mayo:
The best way is to get a rail & sail from Britain to Dublin/Belfast/Ballina. This is a walk on fare that you can get from any train station in the UK & includes the ferry. See nationalrail.co.uk. It costs about £35 to Dublin, £52 to Ballina (single) but varies depending on times you’re travelling. Or you can just go to Dublin/Belfast & then hitch or get a Bus Eireann. Bikes can go on trains & buses in Ireland but you are meant to pay about 10 euros. The camp is about 35 miles from Ballina. There is one bus a day at 5.15pm from Dunnes Stores in Ballina. They will usually drop you off at camp. It’s a minibus called McGraths & costs about 10 euros. Hitching is really easy – check here for directions.
The camp is run by everyone mucking in. We ask 25 euros a week donation towards food & running costs. No-one will be turned away however because of lack of funds. There are rotas for cooking & washing up & various site maintenance jobs. Meetings are run by consensus & actions are planned by everyone who wants to be involved. There is always loads to do taking direct action against Shell, maintaining & building things for the camp, legal work, painting banners, gardening, cooking, writing articles, meeting local activists etc. People of all ages, skills, interests and abilities are invited to get involved in this inspiring community led campaign. The camp has a no illegal drugs policy at all times & no alcohol except for friday & saturday night. The camp also has a safe space policy. Please read our website for more information.
Because of the G8 in nearby Fermanagh, it is possible that the UK police or Irish Gardai will stop you at the ferry port. Be prepared to face questions on where you are heading -there’s no law against going on holiday in Ireland!
For legal information about rossport read the legal page of our website.
Rossport Solidarity Camp
Copy of correspondence between John Donovan and Michael Crothers Managing Director SEPIL / Venture Manager Corrib at Shell Exploration and Production Ireland which makes good reading.
What a tenacious man Donovan is I hope he keeps it up
At that point, when you send a letter in your name knowing that it designed to deceive, you have lost your integrity and join previous Shell senior executives, such as Jeroen van der Veer, who also gave in to the dark side of Shell. Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International has confirmed that the same internal investigation smokescreen was used in respect of the Brent Bravo deaths scandal.
From: John Donovan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: OSSL DEBACLE
Date: 10 June 2013 09:32:04 GMT+01:00
Cc: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “email@example.com COMPANY” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr Crothers
As you will recall, the subject of the correspondence was OSSL, the company formally employed as a “Mr Fixit” by Shell E&P Ireland Limited.
Clare Daly kindly contacted you on my behalf.
I passed a copy of your response on to the owners of OSSL because I knew they would be interested in what you have been saying behind their backs.
Basically you have fallen back on the same cover-up formula previously used in other Shell scandals – the allegations have been fully investigated on an independent basis internally by Shell and no evidence found to support them – in this case allegations that Shell has corrupted the Irish Police Force by plying hundreds of officers with free booze.
This cover-up formula is a disreputable devious device. Shell employees investigate allegations against Shell management and amazingly clear Shell management of any wrongdoing. No independent party involved in the investigation and no genuinely independent oversight. How likely is it that any Shell employee would imperial their career at Shell by telling Shell management something it does not wish to hear?
There is no outright lie and no outright denial, but instead a statement that an independent internal investigation found no evidence to support the allegations. This whitewashing process allows a scandal to be covered up. To me, that degree of machination almost seems worse than an outright lie. The end result is a letter issued in your name, but no doubt drafted by sleazy lawyers that completely deceives the recipient into believing that Shell is innocent, when in fact Shell is guilty.
At that point, when you send a letter in your name knowing that it designed to deceive, you have lost your integrity and join previous Shell senior executives, such as Jeroen van der Veer, who also gave in to the dark side of Shell.
Bill Campbell, the retired HSE Group Auditor of Shell International has confirmed that the same internal investigation smokescreen was used in respect of the Brent Bravo deaths scandal.
I recall another example when Shell carried out an internal investigation of threats made against my family. Shell naturally cleared itself of any wrongdoing on that occasion, only to be subsequently caught red-handed in an undercover operation targeting my family and me. My lawyers cornered Shell UK into a written admission at director level.
Hence my total lack of faith in any internal investigation carried out by Shell. It is nothing but a smoke and mirrors device to cover-up the truth. An absolute charade in which key witnesses/parties have no involvement and are not even approached.
You appear to be another victim of Shell’s corruption of the integrity of senior people within the company. When you first became aware of how OSSL had been disgracefully used to carry out underhand and probably criminal activities on behalf of Shell, not just corrupting the police, you appeared to be genuinely sympathetic.
You met personally with the owners of OSSL. You gave them a letter of endorsement.
You were the good cop, while others issued threats against OSSL on Shell’s behalf.
At 12.26 on 22 May 2012, OSSL sent you an email. It mentioned your alleged admittance that Shell had shut down OSSL abruptly, without notice and immorally. It detailed a threat OSSL had allegedly received from a party acting for Shell in relation to the supply of large amounts of alcohol to the Irish Police Force and related falsification of invoices.
22 Minutes later you personally sent a reply.
“I did not say that “Shell shut down your company immorally”. I was careful to say that I personally felt some moral obligation to try to find a way to find a settlement, hence the without prejudice offer that was made.”
Significantly, you did not take issue with or make any denial in respect of the statements about the threat to OSSL, the large amounts of alcohol showered on the Irish Police, nor on the related disguised invoices.
Why, because you and the party to which you were sending your reply – OSSL – knew they were true.
Your letter of 28 May 2013 also contains detailed disapproving and possibly defamatory comments about OSSL and its vigorous campaign seeking redress from Shell. I have been pleased to assist OSSL in that regard.
I believe that most independent people reading the content of your letter dated 28 May 2013 would conclude that OSSL has been demanding money on false grounds and in the process, has engaged in wide-scale distasteful harassment.
In fact, it is your letter that is disgrace because it is designed to convey a false impression that Shell is innocent of these serious charges, when the reverse is the case, and you know it.
What we have is a two page letter designed to deceive the reader, when, if Shell was honest and had been falsely accused, an unambiguous rebuttal could have been made in a single short paragraph.
The allegations against Shell are completely false. OSSL has not distributed any alcohol to the Garda on our behalf. Shell has not made any threats directly or indirectly against OSSL. No invoices has been falsified on Shell’s instructions.
Sadly, you are now part of the cover-up of Shell’s large-scale corruption of the Irish Police Force.
I wonder where your auditors would stand on the matter of proper books of account on which they are legally obliged to express an opinion; were the auditors made aware of OSSL’s allegations of non-payment for the supply of goods and services and falsification of related invoices and in particular, where there is an allegation of tax fraud and corrupt inducement of the law enforcement arm of the state, did your auditors consider their reporting obligations in relation to such matters?
You make reference in your letter to ‘excessive tax withholding’ – what was the nature of the tax withheld?
Let me repeat without any protective legal preamble: Shell EP Ireland has engaged in widespread corruption of the Irish Police in relation to the controversial Corrib Gas Project, which is billions over budget and hopelessly delayed.
You have fallen far in accusing OSSL of activities tantamount to blackmail, harassment and lies, bearing in mind what you have not disclosed to Clare Daly about the current situation.
I was sympathetic to your predicament and made it plain in published articles that you had inherited a toxic mess. Unfortunately you have allowed yourself to become drawn into the mire.
I intend to publish this email tomorrow under the headline – “The integrity of Shell EP Ireland CEO Michael Crothers” – subject to any legal intervention by Shell.
I will happily publish on an unedited basis any comment you may wish to make.
One thing I know you will not provide is an outright denial along the lines suggested above.
Why not, for the sake of your own conscience, stop this cover-up dead in its tracks before it is too late?
There are too many people involved to keep the lid on this huge scandal that will likely rock the foundations of the Irish establishment.
ONLY AN AUTOMATED RESPONSE RECEIVED THUS FAR FROM MR CROTHERS – NOTHING FURTHER AS OF POSTING AT 2PM UK TIME ON 11 JUNE 2013. MR CROTHERS/SHELL WILL SURELY TAKE LEGAL ACTION UNLESS SHELL ACCEPTS, AS IT APPEARS TO DO, THAT WHAT I HAVE STATED ON THIS MATTER IS FACT.
The owners of The OSSL Company who have blown the whistle on a massive police corruption scandal in Ireland sponsored by Shell, are intending to confront the board of Royal Dutch Shell Plc at the AGM being held in The Hague on Tuesday 21 May.
Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney of OSSL say that they have been threatened by Shell with imprisonment and black listing if they continue to spill the beans.
What started out several years ago as Shell paying for some free alcohol given as festive gifts to a few local Garda, expanded in more recent years into a river of free booze for hundreds of Garda officers policing environmental protests against the controversial Corrib Gas Project.
We are talking about bribery and corruption. How could the Garda be impartial when so many officers were being personally rewarded by Shell. The integrity of the Garda has been damaged as a consequence of Shell’s actions.
Note that we have dropped any legal preamble such as “alleged”.
We are satisfied that the evidence we have seen, including leaked Shell emails, is authentic.
If Shell and/or the Garda dispute the facts as stated, then please sue us for defamation.
Lets get this dirty laundry aired in open court.
So what’s the prospect of either party actually issuing proceedings? None at all. They know that truth is a complete defence.
Tagged: Corrib Gas Project · Gas · Ireland · John Donovan · Litigation · Royal Dutch Shell Plc
Shell Corrib Corruption & Community Complaints
That these events go almost universally unreported by the Irish media is a great hindrance to that justice being secured, but your website’s ongoing work in exposing the wrongdoing of Shell and it’s agents worldwide is a vitally important one. Rest assured, the most recent events on the subject of the Corrib Gas project are being closely watched – and acted upon – by many people on the west coast of Ireland and beyond, and together we can expose the corruption that far too many are trying their best to ignore.
Corrib Corruption & Community Complaints
By JM (long-time Shell watcher)
Your recent posting on the Corrib controversy concludes with a point about Irish citizens apparently not raising a fuss over the whole situation, and the latest allegations/revelations in particular.
Living with the ongoing project, many in the local community have had cause to report a multitude of matters to various bodies and State agencies during the course of the last dozen years or so. There are two recurring themes in all such cases: (1) an abuse of process/standards by Shell and/or it’s agents, and (2) a total lack of action/accountability for Shell and/or the agents supposedly “responsible” for the abuse.
The complaints range from the relatively mild (poor consultation, breaches of pollution limits) right through to the atrocious (threats of rape and attempted murder) but the response is almost always the same… it’s someone else’s problem.
A few examples. When it was discovered that a diesel spill at the refinery site was leaking into the Bellanaboy river, the Environmental Protection Agency was contacted. After initially showing great concern and interest in the situation, on hearing the location was part of the Corrib Gas development the EPA immediately backtracked, and said it was a matter for Mayo County Council. When Mayo County Council were approached, no-one was available to investigate. The Gardai (police) then intervened and prevented people from taking water samples until the following day, after a hasty clean-up was initiated. No action was taken by MCC.
After dozens of people were man-handled by Shell’s unidentifiable “security” workers on a public beach at Glengad (proposed offshore pipeline landfall) the Gardai were informed, but they refused to take statements of complaint and – when pressed – instead told people to contact the Private Security Authority. When the PSA were contacted they said they would only take action in the event of a criminal conviction secured by the Gardai. To date, no case has ever been taken by Gardai against security violence on the Corrib project towards members of the public (including hospitalisations) even when witnessed by Garda members.
When it was discovered that Shell had illegally installed and operated a septic tank discharging into a Special Area of Conservation at a compound in Rossport, Mayo County Council officials were informed, and a site inspection was arranged. In spite of the obvious physical evidence, MCC took no action.
When Shell workers used an excavator as a battering ram against neighbours preventing trespass onto private property in Pollathomas, Gardai committed criminal damage, trespass and multiple assaults on the public to force the workers through. Subsequent complaints to the Gardai, the Health & Safety Authority and the Garda Siochana Ombudsman Commission were passed between those authorities and eventually all washed their hands of the affair. No action taken.
There are many other examples, such as Shell’s illegal drilling in a Special Area of Conservation (no sanctions); illegal road built through the same SAC (no prosecution); damage to and theft of fishing gear (no action taken); deliberate sinking of a trawler near offshore pipeline works (no investigation); EPA disallowing Oral Hearing questions as planning matters, then the planning authority (An Bord Pleanala) disallowing the same questions as EPA licensing matters; the list could go on and on.
There is what can perhaps best be described as a grotesque version of pass-the-parcel going on. Everyone knows that there is something unpleasant inside the box, but it keeps getting passed around in the knowledge that the music will never stop (at least, not while the current participants are in the room) and all the while Shell’s taboo Corrib project – and associated abuses – continue unchecked.
To say that people have lost faith in the authorities is a gross understatement, but in spite of all this complaints are still lodged and due process followed, and people still await justice.
That these events go almost universally unreported by the Irish media is a great hindrance to that justice being secured, but your website’s ongoing work in exposing the wrongdoing of Shell and it’s agents worldwide is a vitally important one.
Rest assured, the most recent events on the subject of the Corrib Gas project are being closely watched – and acted upon – by many people on the west coast of Ireland and beyond, and together we can expose the corruption that far too many are trying their best to ignore.
(long-time Shell watcher)
Under the circumstances, I wondered if a pilot scheme was underway in Ireland already, with Shell sponsoring the Garda? Was some foolish government official or department conned into believing that Royal Dutch Shell is reputable? If so, I would have thought the sponsorship should flow into state coffers, rather than down the throats of apparently very thirsty police officers.
EMAIL TO JUSTICE MINISTER OF IRELAND, MR ALAN SHATTER TD.
Acting on Shell’s instructions, OSSL has distributed gifts (bribes) on Shell’s behalf to parties connected with the controversial Corrib Gas Project. This includes the Irish police force (the Garda) who have been the subject of serious accusations of wrong doing by environmental activists protesting against the project. If this statement of fact, or any of the allegations we have published on this matter since September 2012 are untrue, why have no defamation proceedings been issued against OSSL, or against us? What is the Irish Justice Ministry doing? Why no action by Shell’s Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer? How long can this disgraceful state of affairs continue? The scope of the corruption of the Irish state by Shell has yet to be revealed.
EMAILS SENT BY OSSL ON 1 MAY 2013 TO SENIOR PEOPLE AT SHELL AND SENIOR IRISH POLICE OFFICERS
From: THE OSSL COMPANY <email@example.com>
Date: 1 May 2013 07:51:37 BST
To: Michael Crothers <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Peter Voser <email@example.com>, Michiel Brandjes <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ann Hamilton <email@example.com>
Subject: Shell threaten small vendor in a Dublin restaurant..
A senior Shell executive from the Corrib Gas project threatened two members of a small supply company in a Dublin restaurant that “if they revealed details of cash payments to householder and supply of alcohol to local police “that he would see to it that they would “never work in the industry again”
Michael Crothers has full details ..but others in Shell say they were not aware of this until now .. Has this information been suppressed ?
CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT JOHN GILLIGAN ARE YOU LISTENING? THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMPLY WITH SHELLS WISHES ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THIS SITUATION?
Sent from my iPad
SECOND EMAIL – THE CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE
From: THE OSSL COMPANY <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 1 May 2013 08:22:24 BST
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Michael Crothers <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, email@example.com
Subject: It’s not the outstanding booze money that matters …
……it’s that the conspiracy of silence has cost decent people their jobs ….if you need to know more just ask …
Sent from my iPad
(We have deleted the identity of one recipient)
Posted in: Bribery, Business Principles, Corrib Gas Project, Corruption, Gas,GoogleNews, Ireland, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Tagged: Corrib Gas Project · Gas · Ireland · Michael Crothers Shell · Peter Voser · Royal Dutch Shell Plc
(Video: Includes a warning by Superintendent John Gilligan at 4.40 on the dangers of alcohol – amusing presentation glitch at 4.15)
“If I do not receive a response on Monday 29 April, I will assume that you do not wish to comment and I will publish this email on Tuesday. If you need more time to consider the matter, please let me know tomorrow when I can expect a reply. If there is no denial, people will be entitled to draw their own conclusions.”
From: John Donovan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Shell Corrib Gas Scandal: email to Detective Superintendent John Gilligan
Date: 28 April 2013 08:10:57 GMT+01:00
Dear Detective Superintendent John Gilligan
As I am sure you are aware, we have over the past several several months published a series of articles (headlines below) relating to the supply by Shell E&P Ireland of free alcohol to the Irish police, on what we have described as being on an industrial scale. We understand that the legitimate retail cost in Ireland for the river of free booze could approach €100,000 euros. So it’s not small beer.
We have copies of related correspondence between Shell’s “Mr Fixit” company in Ireland – OSSL – and yourself. I refer to the letter from OSSL dated 28 February 2011 and a response letter from you dated 5 May, when you effectively declined to comment. You have been on the circulation list of a number of OSSL emails sent subsequently to Shell and other parties. As I am sure you are also well aware, I drew these matters to the attention of Alan Shatter TD, the Irish Minister of Justice early in April. Although I received acknowledgements for receipt of the information supplied, I have not heard anything further. Perhaps an investigation is underway?
The matter is obviously a serious one given the background circumstances, with allegations that the Garda has acted as an offshoot of Shell security in policing protests against the controversial Corrib Gas Project. You will be aware of the serious related accusations against the Garda made by some protestors.
Since OSSL claim that you have had a hand in these matters, and bearing in mind the articles we have published without receiving any comment from involved parties, other than OSSL, I thought it appropriate to offer you the right to reply?
If you wish to take up this invitation, anything you have to say will be published on an unedited basis.
If I do not receive a response on Monday 29 April, I will assume that you do not wish to comment and I will publish this email on Tuesday.
If you need more time to consider the matter, please let me know tomorrow when I can expect a reply.
If there is no denial, people will be entitled to draw their own conclusions.
HEADLINES THUS FAR
“On the Corrib gas terminal Shell are employing people to do the work of industrial fitters who are not qualified… so are putting the safety of the terminal at risk. The latest breach in health and safety was on Monday the 8th of April, a worker employed as a fitter without the necessary papers worked on cutting pipes… he cut through a live nitrogen pipe and put many lives at risk. Shell has set up an incident room but it is a smokescreen..:” “The drinking culture on the site has also become a big problem…” (*ANOTHER BOOZE ALLEGATION ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTROVERSIAL PROJECT?)
From Mid West Radio Ireland – Evening edition – Official account provided by Shell PR
Shell Ireland says incident at Bellanaboy gas terminal last week did not pose any danger to the site
An incident that occurred at the Corrib gas terminal at Bellanaboy in North Mayo last Monday has been described by Shell as posing no danger to the environment
A pipe containing nitrogen was cut by mistake but the company says all nitrogen on the site was vented off as a precaution
Teresa O’Malley has more details…
As Shell’s Corrib Gas terminal at Bellanaboy is almost completed, the site is said to be in a state of preservation and during this phase of development low pressure nitrogen is pushed through the gas pipes to prevent any corrosion
Since January last, work has been ongoing on replacing the water surface pipes at the terminal
This procedure is completed by cutting off short sections of pipes, removing them and then replacing them
On Monday last the permitted workman carrying out the work on the surface pipes, accidentally cut a gas pipe. He immediately recognised the problem and alerted his supervisor
In response all nitrogen in the gas pipes was vented off as a precaution
In a statement from Shell the company said there was no danger to the site at any stage
An internal investigation is underway into the incident
ACCOUNT SUPPLIED BY A SHELL CORRIB GAS PROJECT INSIDER
On the Corrib gas terminal Shell are employing people to do the work of industrial fitters who are not qualified to do the work and so are putting the safety of the terminal at risk.
The latest breach in health and safety was on Monday the 8th of April a worker employed as a fitter without the necessary papers worked on cutting pipes he cut through a live nitrogen pipe and put many lives at risk.
Shell has set up an incident room but it is a smokescreen the person in question is local and an avid anti protesters.
The drinking culture on the site has also become a big problem also the amount of accidents that have been covered up is a major issue to site safety – all of this is a danger to the community.
ADDED BY JOHN DONOVAN: WE ARE STILL WAITING TO RECEIVE ANY HIGH COURT WRITS FROM IRISH POLICE OFFICERS NAMED AS BEING INVOLVED IN THE ALLEGED DISTRIBUTION OF SHELL BRIBES IN THE FORM OF A FLOOD OF FREE BOOZE GIVEN TO HUNDREDS OF SERVING POLICE OFFICERS. MEMBERS OF THE GARDA WHO ALLEGEDLY ACTED AS A SOMETIMES VIOLENT OFF-SHOOT OF SHELL’S SLEAZY SECURITY OPERATION.
By John Donovan
We have received a copy of an email allegedly sent today to Brian Foley, who according to OSSL, has been the senior Shell contracts manager on the Corrib Gas project for the last ten years. The email was also allegedly copied to Royal Dutch Shell Plc CEO Peter Voser and Michael Crothers, the CEO of Shell E&P Ireland.
The email repeats the claim that Shell sent Corrib auditors KPMG to OSSL offices warning “about imprisonment if we disclosed the police alcohol matter.”
OSSL alleges that it played a “Mr Fixit” role for Shell distributing gifts/bribes to ease the progress of the controversial Corrib Gas Project.
I have republished below a related purported OSSL invoice that we first published on 28 March 2013.
If any of the various parties named on the purported invoice, including senior Irish police officers, are prepared to go on the record stating that the invoice is fake, we will publish that information and cease covering this story until an investigation has taken place.
OSSL alleges that hundreds of Irish police officers were the beneficiaries of Shell’s alleged corruption – a generous supply of free alcohol.
Environmental campaigners who have protested against the Corrib project have long alleged that the Irish police have acted as an off-shoot of Shell security.
HENCE THE OSSL ALLEGATIONS ARE VERY SERIOUS.
The Irish government is aware of this alleged scandal. The Irish police is aware of the allegations. Many Shell employees, managers, officials and executive directors are said to be involved in or have knowledge of the alleged scandal and/or associated alleged cover-up. KPMG must be aware of their alleged role.
I am not aware of any denial issued by any of these parties regarding the authenticity of the alcohol invoice.
How hard can it be to establish whether the all-important invoice displayed below is a fake or authentic?
“OSSL management seems to be so disgusted by Shell management that they appear set on a self-destruct mission. The two main possibilities appear to be that they are either responsible for manufacturing forged documents as part of an attempt to put pressure on Shell, or have been drawn by Shell into a corruption conspiracy/scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale.”
JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO PRIVATE SECRETARY OF IRISH JUSTICE MINISTER, MR ALAN SHATTER
From: John Donovan <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Alleged Corruption of Irish Police Force
Date: 6 April 2013 16:38:12 GMT+01:00
To: INFO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dear Mr Brennan
I do apologise for sending this further email but OSSL contacted me again this morning. As a result I have supplied three additional items of purported evidence that I have not seen before, that should be brought to the attention of Mr. Alan Shatter, the Minister for Justice and Equality.
1. A copy of a purported testimonial letter about OSSL dated 8 August 2012 purportedly from Mr. Michiel Crothers, Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland Limited.
2. A copy of a purported letter marked “Strictly Private & Confidential” dated 28 February 2011 from The OSSL Company to Garda Superintendent Mr. John Gilligan. The author was purportedly Mr. Desmond Kane. The letter, if authentic, discussed the purchase and delivery of festive gifts to the Garda and claims that the gifts were purchased by OSSL on behalf of Shell E&P Ireland. According to the purported letter: “At Shell’s insistence these gifts came with a high degree of confidentiality, which we have adhered to until this very day.”
3. A purported letter dated 5 May 2011 to Mr. Kane at The OSSL Company from Superintendent John Gilligan, which may be in response to the above OSSL letter.
I pointed out yesterday that although the allegations appear to be outlandish (and may be unfounded), Shell has a track record of giving improper gifts, including alcohol, to federal employees. I supplied the relevant official investigation report by The Office of The inspector General of the US Department of the Interior.
I now recall other corruption scandals involving Royal Dutch Shell.
The first is, in one respect, even closer in nature to the current allegations, in so far as Shell using a sub-contractor to bribe government officials of a host country – in this example, Nigeria.
Shell to pay $48m Nigerian bribe fine: Daily Telegraph 4 November 2010
These companies, including Shell, admitted they “approved of or condoned the payment of bribes on their behalf in Nigeria and falsely recorded the bribe payments made on their behalf as legitimate business expenses in their corporate books, records and accounts”.
SHELL IN BRIBERY FINE: Daily Express 6 November 2010
Shell must pay a $30million “criminal penalty” over charges it paid $2million to a sub-contractor “with the knowledge that some or all of the money” would be used to bribe Nigerian officials to allow equipment into the country without paying duty. Shell, which has not admitted guilt, must pay a further $18million to repay profits and interests.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Cease and Desist Order: Shell Corruption in Nigeria
Royal Dutch Shell fulfilled a money-laundering role in the Al-Yamamah “oil for arm” corruption scandal that was being investigated by the UK Serious Fraud Office until Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped in and terminated the investigation on spurious grounds of national security.
Executive Intelligence Review: Scandal of the Century Rocks British Crown and the City: June 22, 2007
The al-Yamamah deal: The Guardian: 7 June 2007
BAE lands arms deal for a new generation: The Telegraph: 19 August 2006
BAE rejects calls for fresh Saudi investigation: The Telegraph 3 February 2013
Shell’s involvement in the cited corruption scandals obviously does not mean that it is guilty of the allegations made by OSSL.
It does however mean that Shell has prior form.
The new alleged evidence can be viewed here (See Below)
OSSL management seems to be so disgusted by Shell management that they appear set on a self-destruct mission. The two main possibilities appear to be that they are either responsible for manufacturing forged documents as part of an attempt to put pressure on Shell, or have been drawn by Shell into a corruption conspiracy/scheme operated in Ireland on an industrial scale.
Shell’s partners in the Corrib Gas Project must be concerned that the lead partner, Shell, has allowed this matter to drag on.
Complaint lodged by Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
It has also asked the State to explain what measures are being taken to monitor and to minimise the impact of seismic surveying on whales and dolphins.
Seismic surveys conducted to map the ocean floor use airguns, comprising long submersible cannons towed behind vessels that fire shots of compressed air into the water every few seconds. The pulses penetrate the sea floor and rebound, giving results which are analysed for geological content. Explosives have been used in the past.
The commission’s environment directorate is acting on a complaint by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group, which is concerned about the impact on marine mammals of such surveying for oil and gas.
A 2007 study for the International Whaling Commission found that 250 male fin whales appeared to stop “singing” for up to several months during a seismic survey.
Ireland is a declared whale and dolphin sanctuary, and the group maintains the State is obliged in any case to comply with the EU’s environmental impact assessment (EIA) directive and habitats directive when licensing surveys.
This would ensure oil and gas firms carried out baseline whale and dolphin abundance surveys for areas which they are seeking licenses to survey and explore.
“As all development costs incurred by oil and gas exploration in Irish waters is tax-deductible, the costs of these baseline surveys will not affect company profits,” the group said.
A seismic survey licensed for the Corrib gas field last year resumed last month, and is due to last four months.
The group sent a complaint to the European Commission and to Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte last May, pointing out that the licensing for this should have been subject to the EIA directive.
It also maintains Ireland failed to comply with the EU habitats directive in approving the survey. The group says a risk assessment for the Corrib field survey which was published by Shell E&P Ireland was “deficient” because baseline information was not collected, or requested, by the regulatory authorities.
The commission informed the group it had raised the issue with the authorities here, and noted that all cetaceans (whales and dolphins) were in need of “strict protection” under the habitats directive.
It also asked the State to explain whether EIA directive requirements were applied to approval for site investigation and exploratory well drilling on the Kish Bank off the east coast.
A Department of the Environment spokesman said it had already informed the commission that Providence Resources had surrendered its foreshore licence for Kish, because elements of the directive were not transposed correctly into law in 1999 by the Government.
The Department of Energy said last week its initial understanding was that seismic surveys were not listed as an automatic requirement relating to the EIA directive. Shell E&P Ireland did not respond to a request for comment.
OSSL seems to have been used as a “Mr Fixit” for SEPIL, allegedly facilitating the distribution of improper gifts to various parties, including the Garda, who rightly or wrongly, have been accused of acting as an offshoot of Shell security in policing protests against the project. It was also alleged that related invoices were falsified on Shell’s instructions.
Dear Mr Shatter TD
I am contacting you in your capacity as the Irish Government Minister responsible for Justice.
I operate an independent, entirely non commercial website – royaldutchshellplc.com – that monitors the activities of Royal Dutch Shell.
We have many contacts inside Shell and regularly publish Shell internal information supplied by whistleblowers, including employees working on the controversial Corrib gas project. We established that the Shell Corib emails supplied to us for publication were authentic.
In 2010, 2011, and 2012, I was in correspondence with various Garda officers, including on one occasion, Chief Superintendent M.B. Mangan, Personal Assistant to the Garda Commissioner and subsequently with Superintendent Patrick Diskin and others. The correspondence was in connection with alleged death threats made against the Corrib gas project whistleblowers. I did all I could to assist in the investigation.
More recently, in September of last year, I was contacted by a company called OSSL, which apparently for several years, supplied services to Shell E&P Ireland (SEPIR) in relation to the Corrib gas project.
OSSL seems to have been used as a “Mr Fixit” for SEPIL, allegedly facilitating the distribution of improper gifts to various parties, including the Garda, who rightly or wrongly, have been accused of acting as an offshoot of Shell security in policing protests against the project. It was also alleged that related invoices were falsified on Shell’s instructions.
We took the matter up directly with Shell at the outset giving them the opportunity to comment on, or deny the allegations, but received no response.
We did satisfy ourselves that a related leaked email to Shell dated 23 August 2012 was genuine and published it along with a related article.
Irish Supplier Accuses Shell of Bribery, Cover-up and Sinister Threats
The OSSL allegations have continued in subsequent months and in recent days we have published the following articles, which includes a purported invoice to SEPIL dated 24 August 2012 for over €35,000 worth of alcohol allegedly involving “upwards of 300 cops.”
Shell Accused of Corrupting Irish Police Force
OSSL, SHELL AND ALLEGED CORRUPTION
Following the publication of the most recent articles, I received on 30 March an email from a long-standing contact in Ireland. This person has far more knowledge and experience than me in relation to SEPIL and the Garda. The email contained this rather chilling paragraph.
“I personally don’t know any of the OSSL people (I knew Desmond Kane, the owner of the business name by sight but that was all) but I wonder if they are fully aware of the potentially deadly danger they face in persisting with this and, to that effect, have they adequate protection in place as regards spreading copies of their evidence to different places and ensuring that the original documentation is lodged in a VERY safe location or locations.”
I have passed this concern on to OSSL and have made it clear that it comes from a source sympathetic to the plight of OSSL.
Being a small company carrying out the instructions of Shell, OSSL must have thought what they were being asked to do by Shell was perfectly legal, bearing in mind that Shell has an in-house army of several hundred lawyers to ensure Shell operates strictly within the law. OSSL probably thought that they could safely rely on Shell.
It is only recently that, according to OSSL, Shell’s accountants in Dublin have notified them that the activities undertaken for Shell may have been criminal.
If authentic, the content of the invoice dated 24 August 2012 raises a number of issues.
1. Was the alcohol listed therein distributed as corrupt gifts to the Garda?
2. Are there cross-border smuggling and VAT issues involved?
3. Did Shell take advantage of the naivety of a small company?
Since the corruption allegations have been on the public record for several months, I am astonished that the Irish authorities apparently have not yet become involved in establishing whether there is an enormous corruption scandal surrounding the Corrib gas project, or alternatively, that a small company, for some unknown reason, is making wild unfounded allegations, possibly supported by fake documentation.
I have copied this email to Lorna Siggins at The Irish Times so that she is aware of this matter.
As a matter of courtesy, I have also sent a copy to Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Tagged: Corrib Gas Project · Corruption · Gas · John Donovan · Royal Dutch Shell Plc