Now Superintendent Thomas Murphy has approached OSSL saying that he is going to investigate. He has presented himself “as an independent person to the ongoing issues in Co Mayo” with clean hands. I can only guess that he did not receive a share of the free booze received from Shell by hundreds of his fellow County Mayo Garda police officers. With all due respect to Superintendent Murphy, he can hardly be described as “independent”. However, if Superintendent Murphy decides to press ahead, the first person he should approach is Detective Chief Superintendent John Gilligan. He should ask Gilligan if he personally helped unload a delivery of alcohol at Bellmullet Garda station. (He did) If Gilligan declines to answer without first seeking advice from his lawyer, that alone would speak volumes. Superintendent Murphy may also wish to ask Gilligan and the other Garda who offloaded the free booze, who paid for it, who delivered it and who ended up drinking it?
By John Donovan
We have already published several articles about Shell’s corruption of the Irish Police Force, the Garda.
Shell has spent almost €100,000 at legitimate retail value on supplying free alcohol (brought across the border) to quell the thirst of hundreds of Garda officers involved in supposedly policing the controversial Corrib Gas Project on an impartial basis. Complaints have been made over the past several years by environmental campaigners and members of the local population all alleging that the police are working for Shell.
The Garda is currently the subject of public ridicule on YouTubeover the Shell alcohol corruption scandal.
Shell used a small local company, OSSL, as a “Mr Fixit” to ease the progress of the much hated pipeline by spreading gifts around where deemed necessary, for example on land owners.
To hide what was going on, invoices were falsified and OSSL had to hand over to Shell receipts for goods purchased for distribution to the lucky recipients, such as the free booze showered on County Mayo police.
Now more revelations:
- OSSL allege that Terry Nolan, when Chief Executive of Shell EP Ireland, demanded that Neil Rooney of OSSL should give a false statement to a Garda Ombudsman inquiry into a violent incident that took place at Pollathomais in County Mayo involving Garda Superintendent Joe Gannon, allegedly described by Nolan as being “Shell’s man”.
- During the Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM held in May, Peter Voser, the Chief Executive of the oil giant publicly agreed to intervene with a view to resolving outstanding issues with OSSL. So Voser is now personally involved.
- The Garda has appointed Superintendent Thomas Murphy from the Swinford district of County Mayo to investigate the allegations made by OSSL.
- OSSL claim that in 2003 they engaged in a covert operation on behalf of Shell EP Ireland and discovered that the objective of the cover of darkness activity was to fool planning officials and avoid a potential delay of up to a year and considerable embarrassment for Shell. From what I have seen, the mission seems to have been executed like a comedy caper, but the intent was serious and apparently successful.
- OSSL owner Desmond Kane is so appalled by the continuing treacherous treatment his small company has received from Shell, including the failure of the Peter Voser intervention, that there are fears for his health.
“FACE OFF IN POLLATHOMAIS”
This was a particularly violent face off in Pollathomais between lawful protestors on the one side and Shell and its agents, including the Garda led by Superintendent Joe Gannon on the other. As can be seen in a YouTube video, a digger machine used by Shell became the focus of the fracas. It was in regard to this ugly confrontation that Shell EP Ireland CEO Terry Nolan demanded that Neil Rooney, who witnessed events, must falsify his evidence given to the investigation carried out by the Garda Ombudsman. Nolan informed Rooney that his statement had to be changed because the policeman involved in the incident was going to be hung out to dry and he was, as Nolan allegedly put it“our man” and “had to protected at all costs”.
After Rooney consulted with his OSSL colleague, Desmond Kane, over the demand to submit a new statement, he understandably declined to do so. Shell’s whole attitude to OSSL then changed dramatically for the worse. Neil Rooney says: “there is no doubt in my mind that that refusal to lie ‘on demand’ for the Shell CEO cost us our positions and livelihood and we are still paying a massive price.”
INTERVENTION BY PETER VOSER
I supplied OSSL with admittance cards to the May 2013 Royal Dutch Shell Plc AGM with a recommendation that they should raise their dispute with Shell EP Ireland directly with Peter Voser in the Q & A Session. This was after Mr Voser had chosen for several months to ignore emails from OSSL. Now he was publicly cornered into speaking on this potentially explosive subject and quickly agreed to a meeting with a view to resolution. He accepted a condition set by OSSL. Iain Middleton, Royal Dutch Shell Contracting and Procurement Leader for Europe subsequently confirmed in an email to OSSL that he had been asked by Peter Voser to meet with Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney of OSSL in Dublin. OSSL had insisted on someone representing Shell who had not been involved with Shell EP Ireland. The meeting came to nought because Shell wrongly calculated that it could still keep a lid on the scandal.
GARDA/SHELL INVESTIGATION OF THE ALLEGATIONS
The Garda says it has already carried out an internal investigation of OSSL allegations and found no evidence to support them. In other words the Garda investigated the Garda and the Garda conveniently cleared the Garda.
Shell has used precisely the same clever formula.
Shell says that it carried out an internal investigation and found no evidence to support the allegations. Shell investigated Shell and Shell conveniently cleared Shell.
This whitewashing process allows a scandal to be covered up. The end result is a sanitizing statement carefully and deliberately designed to deceive.
Both the Garda and Shell know that in fact the allegations are true.
Now Superintendent Thomas Murphy has approached OSSL saying that he is going to investigate. He has presented himself “as an independent person to the ongoing issues in Co Mayo” with clean hands. I can only guess that he did not receive a share of the free booze received from Shell by hundreds of his fellow County Mayo Garda police officers. With all due respect to Superintendent Murphy, he can hardly be described as “independent”.
However, if Superintendent Murphy decides to press ahead, the first person he should approach is Detective Chief Superintendent John Gilligan. He should ask Gilligan if he personally helped unload a delivery of alcohol at Bellmullet Garda station. (He did) If Gilligan declines to answer without first seeking advice from his lawyer, that alone would speak volumes. Superintendent Murphy may also wish to ask Gilligan and the other Garda who offloaded the free booze, who paid for it, who delivered it and who ended up drinking it?
There is a volume of correspondence between OSSL and Shell when the alcohol issue is discussed and no denial is made by Shell. A classic example is an email exchange that took place on 22 May 2012 between OSSL and the current CEO of Shell EP Ireland, Mr Michael Crothers. OSSL detailed a threat it 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 OSSL received a reply from Mr Crothers. He 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. Instead he dealt with another matter raised.
It is notable that in a letter dated May 28, 2013 Mr Crothers sent to a member of the Irish Parliament, Ms Clare Daly, Crothers claimed that Shell had arrived at a “full and final settlement” with OSSL in 2012. Clare Daly had written to Mr Crothers on my behalf. If a full and final settlement had been agreed, why did Peter Voser intervene? Why did the recent meeting between OSSL and Iain Middleton take place if all had already been resolved? Mr Crothers mentions in the same letter an invoice raised by OSSL for the alcohol requesting payment from Shell. If the invoice is fraudulent, why has this crime – an attempt to extort money from Shell on false pretenses – not been reported to the Garda?
In his letter Mr Crothers made plain his disdain for the tactics adopted by OSSL perhaps not expecting that OSSL would ever get to see what he had said about them:
Since last August OSSL has sent hundreds of emails, conducted public demonstrations, made statements on Facebook and has engaged with media in relation to its allegations. Emails demanding money have been directed to SEPIL staff and Royal Dutch Shell leaders. Emails have also been sent by OSSL to numerous journalists, with many senior Shell staff blind-copied on these mails. Local residents have also received emails.
Bearing in mind his repeated protestation in the letter that the OSSL allegations had been investigated and no evidence found to support them, Clare Daly was entitled to conclude that OSSL was engaged in a nasty campaign blackening the name of Shell for no good reason.
Why then did Shell decide at the very highest level to subsequently meet with OSSL again when OSSL had no grounds to pursue Shell, were making false accusations against Shell and doing so in an invidious way?
CONCERN FOR THE HEALTH OF DESMOND KANE
Mr Neil Rooney says that his OSSL colleague, Desmond Kane, has a longstanding heart condition and that the sheer frustration and trauma of being stone-walled and threatened by Shell and its agents is having a bad affect on his health. Information about his current condition has been conveyed to Shell which does not seem interested in the slightest.
Shell and its agents have warned Mr Kane and Mr Rooney of the prospect of imprisonment for their involvement in potential criminal activity in carrying out Shell’s instructions. The fact that both individuals have continued to reveal the truth is out of disgust and outrage at the way Shell pressured them into such activity in the first place and then ditched the company after they refused to give false testimony to the Garda Ombudsman investigation.
I have been in direct contact with Alan Shatter, the Irish Minister for Justice.
Given the gravity of these matters what is needed is a genuinely independent inquiry. Not another internal investigation of the Garda by the Garda.
SOME OF THE RECENT CORRESPONDENCE IS SHOWN BELOW.
CLICK TO ENLARGE ON EACH IMAGE.
EMAIL FROM MICHAEL CROTHERS, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF SHELL EP IRELAND TO TD DEPUTY, CLARE DALY
EMAIL FROM IAIN MIDDLETON OF SHELL TO DESMOND KANE OF OSSL
EMAIL TO OSSL FROM SUPERINTENDENT THOMAS MURPHY OF THE GARDA
Liam Heffernan was arrested on June 12 and has been on hunger strike since last Monday.
Liam Heffernan was arrested at Aughoose last Wednesday for allegedly obstructing Shell construction vehicles as they moved in to bore a tunnel to carry a pipeline in the area.
Campaigners claim his arrest was without lawful authority or reasonable excuse.
They say Heffernan was taken to Belmullet Garda Station where he was offered the opportunity to enter into a bail bond, on the condition that he stay away from Shell’s tunnelling compound at Aughoose.
A Shell to Sea statement said the campaigner explained his motives to the judge, who told him his arguments were better directed towards the government or the High Court.
Heffernan then agreed to enter bail conditions pending another court appearance on July 10, but campaigners say the judge found unspecified problems with his signature and remanded him in custody until the court’s next sitting.
He began a hunger strike on Monday and will tomorrow mark his tenth day in prison, when he is again due before Harristown Court in Castlerea.
Shell to Sea has asked supporters to attend the court in solidarity with the campaigner.
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
There is still plenty of ire left in Ireland as campaigners ready themselves for another summer of action against Shell and their plans to despoil the coast of County Mayo with a new gas pipeline. The project is already a decade late and three times over budget; pretty impressive for a small community fighting one of the biggest multinationals in the world.
However three times over budget suggest a hell of a lot of drinking by Jesus lads the Garda drinks delivery system is believed to have run up an massive overtime bill and you will pay for it once again.
“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.
Exporting oil has made Norway one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
Arguably, wind is Ireland’s oil. Our geographic location means we have highly lucrative consistent wind that will keep turbines turning and generating a consistent energy supply.
But what price will we have to pay to exploit this resource and what guarantees are there that we can make the most of the resource like the Norwegians.
The early signs are ominous and recent history tells us that Governments here tend to sell the family silver below cost and at a heavy price to communities.
Offaly and the other midland counties have, the experts tell us, the capacity to generate power. But at what cost?
While the county could benefit from wind power, littering Laois with hundreds of giant turbines is already angering communities. Farmers, we are told, will benefit, but are they being bought off cheaply.
Cash-strapped County Councils must act in the best interest of the community but also help to develop a resource. It is a difficult balancing act. It must also avoid the attraction of backing turbines to raise finance.
Exporting the energy generated to Britain is likely to irk some but it is the economics of this plan that we should be concerned about. Are we selling off our power on the cheap so that another country grows economically?
Should we not be harnessing wind energy to develop our own economy? Surely Irish business would flourish if it could avail of cheaper home-grown electricity.
The story of the Corrib Gas fields off Mayo does not reflect well on Government policy. There was no policy then so the gas was sold off quickly and cheaply. Hopefully wind energy is not a repeat performance.
Printed below is a self-explanatory email I sent on 11 November 2012 to Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate, Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
I sent him further information earlier today including a related email sent to RDS Plc Chief Executive Mr Peter Voser.
I also made reference to the copy of a letter from a solicitor that has been supplied to me.
The solicitor acts for clients in County Mayo concerned by any implication that they have been involved in any corrupt activity allegedly sponsored by Shell.
MY EMAIL TO MR MICHIEL BRANDJES: 11 NOVEMBER 2012
From: John Donovan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: SHELL ALCOHOL FOR CORRIB POLICEMEN?
Date: 11 November 2012 15:01:19 GMT
Dear Mr Brandjes
I have forwarded to you separately an email I received today, dated 9 November 2012, purportedly sent to Mr Mike Crothers, the Chief Executive of Shell EP Ireland and copied to your colleague Mr Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Plc and to the Irish Police, the Garda.
The email was sent by OSSL, an Irish supplier to the Corrib Gas Project. The company has previously accused Shell of instructing them to make corrupt payments/gifts to third parties on behalf of Shell.
They claim that to achieve this objective, invoices were falsified on the express instruction of Shell EP Ireland.
OSSL further allege that threats of dire consequences have been made against them by Shell. The company notified you of this by email on 11 October 2012.
The latest allegation is that the local Irish Police involved in the Corrib Gas Project were supplied with alcohol by Shell EP Ireland. It says that there is proof of this in an invoice supplied to Shell.
I can understand why there has been a delay in calling in the police because the local population seems to have little faith in the impartiality of the Garda. Many believe, rightly or wrongly, that the local police are in the pockets of Shell.
This perhaps explains why Shell whistle blowers on the Corrib project – the so called Celtic Tiger Five – did not step forward to give evidence to the Garda after alleging they had received death threats from Shell. As you may recall, we published a considerable number of Shell internal emails leaked to us containing confidential information highly embarrassing to Shell.
If any of the claimed emails are fake, then we will not publish anything further received from OSSL. I do, however ,believe they are genuine.
Please let me know by 4pm Monday 12 November. We will also publish unedited any related comment Shell wishes to make.
No problem if you need more time to investigate and respond.
Just let me know by 4pm that you will be looking into the matter before replying.
Although Mr Brandjes replied to a subsequent email from me on another matter, he has not taken up my invitation as set out above, neither has he taken issue with the authenticity of the relevant emails.
The following is the content of an email sent by OSSL on 11 November 2012 to the solicitor referred to above.
EMAIL FROM OSSL TO A SOLICITOR: SENT 11 NOVEMBER 2012
Thank you for your letter
It appears to us that you have misread the situation .
OSSL was instructed by SHELL to pay for goods and services supplied or carried out by third party companies locally in Erris .
We informed your clients and others in the Bellanaboy area the Rossport area and Glengad that in an accounting instruction from Shell we were told to transfer the invoices in a disguised manner to a company called Roadbridge stating that Shell management were getting very worried that they would be seen to be favouring some landowners over others which we have been informed by Shell would contradict all other agreements with landowners who were not in receipt of “special favours “.
Your clients and fifteen others fall into the special favours category ,OSSL simply informed them that SHELL had not reimbursed OSSL in full for the money which it had paid out to third parties on your clients and Shells joint venture.
This money has not been fully reimbursed.
When we entered a long campaign of action to get our money back we were asked by Shell in Holland to travel to London to meet with Frances van Dam of their business and ethics department BID we were also asked to remain silent about the matter.
Some time later we were informed by van Dam that in fact none of what we had disclosed to her was factual , and that no Special Favours or home improvements or cash payments had ever been carried out or supplied to your clients and others stating that “any such works or favours would be corrupt and illegal and would jeopardise the whole project ”
Not even your clients would claim that this never happened , would they?
Apart from the missing money still outstanding we have been informed by Michael Crothers that we were dismissed from the project because of our compliance with your clients requests to Shell for work to be carried out and goods supplied which they subsequently wanted to distance themselves from.
In case you or your clients don’t understand what we are saying be clear that three decent people lost their lively hood over this matter .
Crothers held his head in shame when the facts were laid out to him and he is clear about what went on.
Shell does have a track record of involvement in corruption scandals – see examples at the foot of this article – but that obviously does not mean it is automatically guilty of the allegations on this occasion.
I have no idea why Shell has decided against commenting.
SHELL INVOLVEMENT IN PAST CORRUPTION SCANDALS
Executive Intelligence Review: Scandal of the Century Rocks British Crown and the City: June 22, 2007
Comment in House of Commons by Vince Camble MP, former Chief Economist of Shell (Debate on the Al-Yamamah BAE Fraud/Corruption controversy and associated money laundering) 7 Feb 2007
Shell in U.S. Gov. Sex, Drugs and Corruption Scandal: 24 January 2009
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”.
Posted Date: 13 November 2012
Oct 26th, 2012 by John Donovan.
I saw that you posted up the “Mayo Today” article entitled “Corrib safety clock hits three million hours mark”.
In the article Shell claim:
“The record was reached on October 4 and the workscope covered included all onshore pipeline and terminal activities, plus all offshore work managed out of Erris. This represented an incredible 833 days without a safety incident leading to a staff member or contractor having to take time off work due to injury – stretching back to June 24, 2010.”
This is a lie. I myself witnessed a Shell security guard being carried on a stretcher on a Shell site in January 2012.
I’ve also been contacted by an employee who told of two injuries on site that he knew of;
A female employee had her leg trapped by a steel gate at the Aughoose site in December 2011. This injured employee was off work for 4 or 5 months as a result of the incident.
A security guard injured his knee on the site around January this year.� He returned to work a few days later.
At the time of the first incident the employee said that they were handed jackets to wear with the 2,000,000+ hours worked without injuries even though their colleague was off duty at the time.
There have been a number of other rumored injuries on the Aughoose site in the last few months but nothing confirmed on these yet.
In the quiet and tranquil countryside of Mayo, in the far west of Ireland lies one of the most controversial gas projects. Protestors reside in the solidarity camp at Aughoose, one of the two locations which is part of the Corrib Gas Project. The project is based along the Sruwadaccon Estuary which is designated a Special Area of Conservation. The Corrib Gas Field is located about 50 miles off Erris Head in Count Mayo,known as the Slyne Trough. An exploration license was granted to Enterprise Oil in 1993, before Royal Dutch Shell took it over in 2002.
Many locals were concerned over the environmental impacts of the project along with the health and safety aspects. What is surprising is that, despite the amount of information that is available on the Shell to Sea Campaign website, there is little information in the media. Originally in 2004, when the protests first began, the issue received a huge amount of public interest and ample media attention. Now in later years with the situation yet unchanged, it appears that mainstream media is losing interest – it is no longer ‘news’.
Interview with Moira Harrington of Shell to Sea Campaign. Interview by Eimear Clabby, Safeworld Student Writer
“We were considered bog-trotters.”
Maura, a 59 year-old local and retired school teacher, came into public attention when she began protesting against Shell in 2002.
To look at Maura, she is small in height and of slight build, a build both due to her genes, but also to the hunger strike she took part in to capture the attention of Shell and the general public.
I am quite taken aback when I first meet Maura; it’s hard for me to believe that a small, motherly woman of her stature has such power and determination to go against a major force such as Shell.
Maura explained why she is passionate about the campaign:
“On a local level, I feel I should defend this place of beauty and on a national level, I see no economic benefit from the extraction of oil and gas from Ireland.”
After the first planning application for Shell was submitted in 2002, Maura began battling against Shell. This involved five years of research and hard work, and as Maura said herself, “We knew nothing about oil and gas extraction, we lived in a green field area where there was never any heavy industry.”
Maura also spoke of how both her and her local community were really only pinpointed on the map after the troubles with Shell:
“We were always ignored, politically, and every other way until we were discovered by Shell.”
What was also apparent on Shell’s initial exploit fo Erris, was the lack of respect for the local communities and the assumption that the people of this area were somewhat less intelligent than the “movers and shakers” of Shell,
“We were considered bog-trotters.” said Maura.
After enduring 4 years of disputes with protestors, Shell’s plans were still under way and the first pipe laying ship ‘The Solitaire’ arrived at Erris on the 9th September 2008.
Maura felt desperate and began a hunger strike in protest against the arrival of ‘The Solitaire’, the pipe laying ship assisting the Royal Dutch Shells Corrib Gas Project.
Maura vouched to starve herself until such time as The Solitaire exited Irish waters, a process which took ten days outside the gates of Shell at the solidarity camp.
After ten days, the ship moved further out to sea until it was no longer considered within the vicinity of Irish waters. When this was confirmed, Maura ceased her hunger strike, satisfied that Shell’s efforts had been implicated once more.
“Before beginning the hunger strike I was 6 stone 9 pounds, after the 10 days I weighed in at just 6 stone, over a stone below my healthy weight range.”
For a woman of her size and build, Maura should weigh approximately 7 stone 2, but with the stress of the protest campaign and the hunger strike, Maura is far from her ideal weight.
Aside from protesting and the hunger strike, Maura has landed herself in a bit of trouble over the years. Maura is no stranger to Mountjoy Prison, or a courtroom for that matter.
Maura was jailed for 14 days for non-payment of fees relating to her protests against Shell’s Corrib Gas Project. Not only was she arrested, but was arrested outside the funeral of a local neighbour. Her sentence was furthered by 30 days when, on the day of her arrest, she assaulted a member of the Gardai.
When asked about her experience in Mountjoy prison, Maura replied:
“To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t really that bad. I had a lot of support from other women, and it also helped that my husband marched outside the prison gates everyday for the month I was in there, holding a banner “Free Maura”.
When security at Shell is mentioned, Maura’s facial expression morphs into a look of complete disdain. Security levels at Shell are at an ultimate high, with highly trained officials in areas such as anti-terrorism – they are not individuals to be messed with:
“I looked into a security man’s eyes one day I saw no remorse; what I saw was an evil individual, capable of anything.”
Maura takes a lot of negative press in her stride and ignores most of the comments directed at her. In one particular instance, Maura found it hard to forgive and forget; Judge Mary Nevins advised psychiatric assessment for Maura due to her “bizarre behaviour”, a comment that Maura maintains, was of no benefit to the case in question, and was merely a dig in an effort to embarrass Maura.
A somewhat misunderstood individual, Maura simply fights for what she believes is right. There is no denying her dedication to protesting against this project. Even after almost 11 years, her enthusiasm still remains.
Posted Date: 18 October 2012
via Shell to Sea.
via Shell to Sea.