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OSSL/SHELL: AN ANONYMOUS LETTER WITH A DUBLIN POSTMARK

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well. The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred.

By John Donovan

I have published below a letter received today from Ireland. It relates to OSSL allegations against Shell.

Although the source is anonymous, the letter writer seems intelligent and genuine.

Otherwise I would not publish it or respond to what is said.

The first version is exactly as received.

In the second version, for ease of reference, I have inserted my comments in red text.

AN ANONYMOUS LETTER WITH A DUBLIN POSTMARK

Sept 4, 2014

Dear Mr Donovan

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well.

The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred. That might distort whatever independent perspective and credibility you could have as a commentator and a potential force for change. A good example of this is your sponsorship of this fellow Desmond Kane. You have failed to apply even the most basic standards of journalism to this man’s claims.

His latest Facebook assault on rural Mayo homeowners is a case in point.

There are no secrets in small, rural communities. People in Mayo see Mr. Kane acting as a bully and his claims have no credence because local people know the truth. There are no “special gifts” that he rants about – just normal works for residents directly impacted by Shell’s construction of their project several years ago.

Have you ever taken the time to speak with the residents that Kane is vilifying? These are not some people involved in some grand conspiracy – they are families with young children and seniors who lived near the haul route who are appalled and bewildered at his tactics. Whatever they accepted from Shell was completely in line with projects anywhere in Ireland for people impacted by construction adjacent to their property, such as yard works, sheep pens to protect livestock from traffic and lie like. The work was done openly and in public. The families Kane is targeting live in a cluster of houses right beside a public road. Any work done is immediately visible and cannot be hidden. Anything they got from Shell would be immediately known and discussed by friends and neighbours in their regular coming and going to each other’s homes.

It is obvious that Kane is just greedy. He worked with Shell for years and by all accounts made millions from the company – have you ever asked him how much he billed them over the years? From your site, it says he made a settlement with Shell in 2012. If so, why is he trying to get more money? So he signed a legal agreement and then decided he wanted to get more cash and has resorted to any means to get it? That just shows how dishonest his behaviour is. If his claims are legitimate, why doesn’t he sue Shell again and make a case in court with the facts? Instead, he has you doing his dirty work for him while he reduces Ballinaboy residents to tears of frustration and exposes their children to the taunts of their classmates. This is cowardly and despicable behaviour and you should be ashamed of your part in it.

It is one thing to take on a company, but quite another to let Kane say and do anything with your active support to embarrass and pressure bystanders in an attempt to get a reaction and get more money. Isn’t that simply extortion?

The means do not justify lie end, Mr.Donovan. If you want to be taken seriously as a credible and objective journalist, start asking some simple questions, check what is factual and stop condoning personal attacks on people that aren’t involved in whatever disputes Mr.Kane has with Shell.

A Concerned Citizen.

LETTER ENDS

HERE IT IS AGAIN WITH MY COMMENTS INSERTED IN RED TEXT

Sept 4, 2014

Dear Mr Donovan

You and your late father seem to have started out trying to hold Shell accountable for its actions. I hope you agree that accountability goes both ways, and it is fair that you should be held accountable for your own actions as well.

I am accountable. I have never posted, published or sent any communication anywhere, other than in my name. No cowardly hiding behind anonymity for me. 

The energy that fuels your website seems to be a deep resentment, or even hatred. That might distort whatever independent perspective and credibility you could have as a commentator and a potential force for change. A good example of this is your sponsorship of this fellow Desmond Kane. You have failed to apply even the most basic standards of journalism to this man’s claims.

No hatred of anyone. I do object to hypocrisy i.e. a company claiming that it always acts in accordance with its claimed business principles. It is deeds not words which count. As to standards of journalism, I passed on everything in my possession on this matter to a senior correspondent at The Guardian, Ed Vulliamy, who has visited Ireland  a number of times in connection with the allegations. Mr Vulliamy had extensive contact with the Gardai, Shell and other parties before publishing his article. 

His latest Facebook assault on rural Mayo homeowners is a case in point.

I have no responsibility for the OSSL email campaign, nor what they publish on Facebook. UK recipients are free to report them for harassment. I don’t know what the law is in Ireland in that regard. I think their campaign is counter-productive and at times disgraceful.

There are no secrets in small, rural communities. People in Mayo see Mr. Kane acting as a bully and his claims have no credence because local people know the truth. There are no “special gifts” that he rants about – just normal works for residents directly impacted by Shell’s construction of their project several years ago.

This seems to be an admittance that Shell has funded work for residents. According to Mr Kane, in one instance €890,000 Euros was spent on one house – several times what its value was before the work. I do not know if this allegation is true. 

Have you ever taken the time to speak with the residents that Kane is vilifying? These are not some people involved in some grand conspiracy – they are families with young children and seniors who lived near the haul route who are appalled and bewildered at his tactics. Whatever they accepted from Shell was completely in line with projects anywhere in Ireland for people impacted by construction adjacent to their property, such as yard works, sheep pens to protect livestock from traffic and lie like. The work was done openly and in public. The families Kane is targeting live in a cluster of houses right beside a public road. Any work done is immediately visible and cannot be hidden. Anything they got from Shell would be immediately known and discussed by friends and neighbours in their regular coming and going to each other’s homes.

Mr Vulliamy did speak personally to locals during his visits to the locality. Since I do not know who you are, I don’t know if he spoke to you personally. 

It is obvious that Kane is just greedy. He worked with Shell for years and by all accounts made millions from the company – have you ever asked him how much he billed them over the years? From your site, it says he made a settlement with Shell in 2012. If so, why is he trying to get more money? So he signed a legal agreement and then decided he wanted to get more cash and has resorted to any means to get it? That just shows how dishonest his behaviour is. If his claims are legitimate, why doesn’t he sue Shell again and make a case in court with the facts? Instead, he has you doing his dirty work for him while he reduces Ballinaboy residents to tears of frustration and exposes their children to the taunts of their classmates. This is cowardly and despicable behaviour and you should be ashamed of your part in it.

Mr Kanes previous income from Shell has no bearing on the main issue. Mr Kane freely admits bribing third parties, including the Gardai, on behalf of Shell. If Shell has already paid him for the alcohol then they should not pay again. If he is demanding payment from Shell to buy his silence, then Shell should call in the police, if they are sober. As I understand it, OSSL delivered the alcohol to senior Gardai officers. Perhaps they sold it all off to a third party to make a killing (tens of thousands of Euros) rather than distributing it all to ordinary Gardai officers, as Shell intended. Perhaps ordinary cops got the blame without getting the booze?

It is one thing to take on a company, but quite another to let Kane say and do anything with your active support to embarrass and pressure bystanders in an attempt to get a reaction and get more money. Isn’t that simply extortion?

I am very careful about what I publish and take full responsibility for all such publications. I disassociate myself and this website from OSSL attempts to obtain money from Shell, its increasingly offensive email campaign and its postings on Facebook. My only interest is in exposing the truth about bribery of senior Gardia officers by Shell.  

The means do not justify lie end, Mr.Donovan. If you want to be taken seriously as a credible and objective journalist, start asking some simple questions, check what is factual and stop condoning personal attacks on people that aren’t involved in whatever disputes Mr.Kane has with Shell.

A Concerned Citizen.

I am not a journalist, but a mere blogger operating a website focussed on Shell. I do not pretend to be anything else. 

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