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Garda Ombudsman Commission to investigate OSSL allegations

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Screen Shot 2013-03-29 at 17.00.32By John Donovan

The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC), the Irish independent statutory body responsible for receiving and dealing with complaints about the Irish police force, the Garda Síochána, has decided to launch a full investigation of OSSL allegations against Shell. This was after receiving the findings of an investigation by Superintendent Thomas Murphy, including evidence and witness statements obtain by him. 

The Garda had previously launched an internal investigation that concluded there was no evidence to support the OSSL allegations.

An internal investigation by Shell came to an identical conclusion. This was followed by a further Shell investigation triggered by the intervention of Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser during his direct discussion with OSSL management, in person, at The Hague, that was facilitated by me.

SOME OF THE OSSL ALLEGATIONS

OSSL, a local contractor on the Shell Corrib Gas project claims that it supplied gifts and/or free services (sweeteners/bribes) to third parties on Shell’s instruction to smooth the path of the controversial project. OSSL says purchase receipts were destroyed by Shell and invoices falsified on Shell’s instructions to hide what was going on. OSSL alleges that alcohol worth tens of thousands of Euros was delivered to Garda stations by OSSL for distribution to police officers as festive gifts, including Garda policing protests against the project. OSSL claims Shell still owes OSSL money for the gifts, including Garda alcohol.

OSSL has for over two years pursued its claims against Shell with breathtaking determination, despite threats from Shell and its agents, and a cover-up by Garda police officers.

GSOC  statement from OSSL: Issued 22 OCTOBER 2013

22 October 2013 ….16.00 hours .We have today been informed by  the GSOC that following receipt of documentation from the investigating Garda Superintendent Thomas Murphy, that the matter of An Garda Siochana and Shell E&P Ireland’s alcohol gifting arrangements in December 2007, that took place in Belmullet and Athlone on the instruction of Shell E&P Ireland are to be fully investigated by GSOC.

We are delighted that after 31 months of trying to catch the attention of the main players in this debacle that we have finally done so.

We must state that the investigating officer a Garda in our opinion of great integrity, Superintendent Thomas Murphy, treated us with great respect and indeed shone a light on the matter that we at OSSL had not got the experience to consider.

Some time back Shell E&P on hearing that a police investigation was under way used their considerable weight and influence to vilify and rubbish the claims made by OSSL, on a matter they knew to be factual. We now welcome the opportunity to correct this inaccuracy.

We were warned by A Senior Shell E&P Executive that disclosure of the police alcohol  arrangements would result in  world wide life time ban on employment in the Oil &Gas Industry for the three members of OSSL – unfortunately this has been proven to be the case.

When the truthful facts from the GSOC investigation emerge, we intend to request the lifting of the Shell worldwide ban and demand a fair restart for our business from Shell.

The members of OSSL have stood outside Shell HQ in Dublin for the last ten days and been denied a meeting with CEO Michael Crothers and denied entry to the building. Rather interestingly  Sinead Regan secretary to Crothers has informed OSSL that he can’t meet us until after the  “police” investigation, he can’t pay us until after the “police” investigation and he cannot discuss the future until after the “police” investigation.

OSSL.

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