By Alfred and John Donovan
The Irish Times has today published the dramatic news of the sinking of an Irish fishing vessel allegedly by armed mercenaries who boarded and scuttled the Iona Isle owned by Pat O’Donnell, a local fisherman with over thirty years experience in the waters off the coast of Ireland.
It is assumed Mr O’Donnell was targeted as he is one of the loudest objectors to Shell’s Corrib Gas Project. As a fifth generation fisherman he claims his livelihood will be crippled by pollution from the corrib project into Broadhaven bay. Determined to protect the waters for future generations of fishermen, Mr. O’Donnell has consistently refused to be paid off by Shell. Last year he refused to sign an agreement between Shell EP and a local fishermen’s association meant to facilitate the laying of the offshore Corrib gas pipeline.
Shell E&P Ireland said in a statement that it emphatically rejected any allegation that people employed on the Corrib gas project were involved in any way in the incident which led to the sinking of the Iona Isle .
Shell’s denial is undermined by its sinister track record of ordering covert operations against perceived enemies and its close association with a private security agency said to be the commercial front of the British Secret Service. Shell’s head of Global Security, Ian Forbes McCredie OBE, is a former senior officer of the British Secret Service. Titled Shell Directors have been simultaneously directors and shareholders in Shell and directors and major shareholders in the private intelligence service. Indeed they were the ultimate spy-masters. Undercover activity has been carried out on an international basis at the behest of Shell. As Shell is painfully aware, we have ample evidence to prove all of this.
It does not help that the Shell executive who runs Shell EP – Malcolm Brinded – has zero integrity and zero credibility. An article published under his name yesterday by The Guardian added to his notoriety. Just read the comments posted by Guardian readers.
Pat O’Donnell’s fishing boat was allegedly boarded by four masked men, two of whom were armed. They held Mr O’Donnell and his crewman Martin McDonnell in the wheelhouse of the boat while another two went below deck for 20 minutes. These men returned to the deck and the two crew members were held for one and a half hours until the engine went out. At this point the masked men alighted onto an unknown vessel that took them away. None of the men spoke good english. Mr O’Donnell went down to the engine room and realised that the boat was sinking.The two fishermen put out a mayday signal and attempted to inflate their lifeboat. The inflation mechanism failed a number of times but eventually worked with only moments left to spare. Once onboard the lifeboat Mr O’Donnell and Mr McDonnell sent out a distress flare. They were rescued at 4.30am by the ‘Rachel Mary’, another boat owned by Pat O’Donnell and operated by his son, Jonathan O’Donnell. He then rang the Gardai at around 6am to inform them of the incident.
Pat said ‘”I was in fear for my life, is there no end to what these thugs will try to do? AIl I am trying to do is protect my family and the seas that are our livelihood. I told Minster O’Cuiv in April that I needed protection by the state, but he wouldn’t give it – now its time for the government to protect its people. I won’t be intimidated by this.”
Some of the above information is sourced from the Shell to Sea Campaign.