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Irish Gas: Shell sells out and departs leaving a toxic legacy behind

Shell is gone and good riddance…

News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – July 13th, 2017

It was announced yesterday that Shell is planning to sell its 45% stake of the Corrib Gas project to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB).

Shell to Sea today claimed that Shell caused considerable damage to all State institutions involved in the Corrib Gas project since their involvement began in 2002.

Some examples of the damage done to these State institutions:

  • Two former Shell sub-contractors with OSSL, have sworn in court that they delivered £25,000 of alcohol in 2007 (and other amounts in previously) to Gardaí involved in policing Corrib Gas protests at the request of Shell.[1]
  • When Bord Pleanala turned down the initial planning application for Bellanaboy refinery, leaked minutes of a meeting of Shell Managing Directors indicate that Shell’s response was to query “whether the group had sufficiently well placed contacts with the Irish government and regulators.” . Subsequently Shell met with Bertie Ahern in September 2003 and within a week the Chairman of Bord Pleanala met with representatives of the 3 companies involved in Corrib Gas. An Bord Pleanala granted the subsequent refinery application. [2]
  • RTE were forced to issue an apology over a news report, after they attempted to create the impression that a recording of Gardaí joking about threatening to rape two women in their custody, had been “altered” or “tampered with” . Retired RTE producer Betty Purcell, who worked with RTE for 33 years has stated that it was her belief that Shell personnel appeared to have ‘automatic access’ to senior management in RTE. [3]
  • Despite the Corrib protests being the biggest single cause for compaints to the Garda Ombudsman no Garda has ever been punished that is known about. This lack of results on Garda misbehaviour has resulted in Shell to Sea previously calling for the disbandment of GSOC inorder to setup a proper Garda watchdog. In 2007, then Minister for Justice, Brian Lenihan also refused GSOC permission to do a “policies and practices” investigation into the policing of Corrib protests. [4]
  • In 2005, when jailing the Rossport 5, President of the High Court Judge Joseph Finnegan stated about a breach of a Shell injuction allowing access to Rossport residents’ land, “if ignored then society breaks down. If you insist then I can impose imprisonment and fines, for example hundreds of thousands of euro per day. I have no hesitation in having farms sold. If I have to send every farmer to jail, I will because I have made an order”. In comparison a Shell breach of a court injunction forbidding them from entering land in 2009 is still being processed by the courts.[5]

Commenting on the proposed Shell sale of Corrib, Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington stated “Shell is gone and good riddance but Shell to Sea remains and will continue the fight to protect the natural resources of Ireland from any future planned plunder”

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “Shell will be going from Erris leaving a toxic legacy, now it’s our job to hold agencies of the state accountable for their corruption on the Corrib project”

ENDS

For more information contact:      
Maura Harrington:    087 9591474
Terence Conway:     086 0866264
http://www.shelltosea.com
http://www.facebook.com/shelltosea
http://twitter.com/#!/ShellToSea

Links

[1] Men tell court they supplied alcohol to Belmullet Gardaí for Shell – Mayo News –
http://www.mayonews.ie/news/26084-men-tell-court-they-supplied-alcohol-to-belmullet-gardai-for-shell

[2] CPI report into Corrib Gas –
http://www.shelltosea.com/sites/default/files/images/04-CPI-Corrib-Controversy-Report.pdf

[3] RTE failed to truthfully inform the public on Corrib – Shell to Sea Press release –
http://www.shelltosea.com/content/rte-failed-truthfully-inform-public-corrib

[4] Frontline Report: “Breakdown in Trust: A Report on the Corrib Gas Dispute”
http://www.shelltosea.com/content/frontline-report-breakdown-trust-report-corrib-gas-dispute

[5] Supreme Court rules Shell acted in contempt over Corrib land access – Irish Times –
http://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/supreme-court-rules-shell-acted-in-contempt-over-corrib-land-access-1.3119866

 
 
The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:

1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.
2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.
3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s inland refinery.

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