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Corrib Gas Project Engulfed in Corruption Allegations

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.


From: John Donovan <>


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.

Best Regards

John Donovan

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.


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.


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

(2): Memorandum submitted by WWF to inquiry by House of Commons Select Committee: Quotes Sakhalin II corruption allegations from article: 20 June 2008

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”.

SHELL IN BRIBERY FINE: Daily Express 6 November 2010

Posted Date:  13 November 2012


via Corrib Gas Project Engulfed in Corruption Allegations | Shell to Sea.

via Corrib Gas Project Engulfed in Corruption Allegations | Shell to Sea.

Democracy Devalued by Corrib Gas

Now for a serious point, no irony, no satire:- what’s been allowed to happen in Erris for the last ten years regarding the Shell Corrib gas project has significantly devalued the standard of democracy in Ireland. It is a symptom of a wider malaise, for which we’re paying by selling off our independence, our very status as a democratic state – lack of proper participatory democratic process.

We’ve been lead to this point by a gang of unscrupulous dons, none of whom have been made to even acknowledge their crimes.

Crime has become accepted as the norm in Erris, upheld by the agents of state we are brought up to believe protect and support democratic institutions.

There is a painting by Jack B. Yeats in the Hugh Lane gallery called The Maggie Man. The Maggie Man invites fair-goers to pay to throw stones at a wooden roughcut figure called a maggie – gléas magaidh – to encourage it to fend off evil. Those we have allowed to become our leaders have made a maggie of our democracy. They have reduced us to abusing it, diminishing it piecemeal, paying to do so, with blind faith in its automatic powers, while thinking we are engaged in normal democratic activity.

This is what drove me to write Ailliliú Fionnuala. – Donal O’Kelly

via Shell to Sea.

via Shell to Sea.

Lies about Shell safety record on Corrib Gas Project?

Lies about Shell safety record on Corrib Gas Project?

Oct 26th, 2012 by John Donovan.

Hi John,

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.

Take care,


Rossport Solidarity Camp.

via Lies about Shell safety record on Corrib Gas Project? | Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

via Lies about Shell safety record on Corrib Gas Project? | Royal Dutch Shell plc .com.

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