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Posts under ‘Shell to Sea Campaign’

Locals disappointed at sanction on Shell for gas flaring

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Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.15.18Shell to Sea says €1,000 fine equivalent to ‘65 seconds… of current Corrib sales revenue’

By Lorna Siggins

North Mayo residents living close to the Corrib gas refinery have expressed disappointment at the level of sanction imposed on Shell E&P Ireland over gas flaring last New Year’s Eve.

The multinational was fined €1,000 and ordered ordered to pay €15,000 in legal costs in relation to causing light and noise pollution from a gas flare during start-up testing at the Corrib gas terminal in Co Mayo on December 31st and January 1st.

The company pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court on Monday to breaching two parts of its industrial emissions licence, which had been awarded for project last year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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65 seconds of Shell/Corrib sales will pay €1,000 flaring fine

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Screen Shot 2016-09-06 at 11.15.18News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – Sept 6th, 2016 – For immediate release

— Shell fined EUR1,000 while making an estimated EUR240 million in Corrib sales so far this year —

Yesterday (5th September) at Dublin District Court, Shell were fined EUR1,000 after pleading guilty to causing light and noise pollution from gas flaring at Bellanaboy refinery last New Years Eve. The prosecution was brought by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) following complaints from people living around the Bellanaboy refinery.[1]

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Companies charged with workplace breaches following Corrib gas death

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Edwin McGreal: Belmullet: 08 JUNE 2016

Two companies have been sent forward to the Circuit Criminal Court in Castlebar on charges following a workplace accident which resulted in the death of a man working on the Corrib gas tunnel in 2013.

Twenty-six year old Lars Wagner was killed, in September 2013, while he was working on the construction of a tunnel for the Corrib gas project.

Mr Wagner, a German native, was working on boring a tunnel to carry the project’s gas pipeline under Sruwaddacon Bay to the Corrib gas refinery at Bellenaboy.

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Shell to Sea Spokesperson Jailed for E300 fine as Millions roll in for Corrib Gas

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News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – May 7th 2016 

Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington was arrested in Belmullet on Friday afternoon and  jailed for 10 days in Mountjoy prison for the non-payment of a court fine of E300.

It is thought that the jailing relates to a 2012 protest attempting to block construction of the disputed development.

Ms. Harrington has continuously opposed the Corrib gas project due to health and safety concerns, environmental damage and the giveaway of Ireland’s natural resources to private corporations. [1]

The jailing comes on the same day as Vermillion Energy – who owns an 18.5% share in Corrib gas – released sales figures of $17million from Corrib from the first three months of 2016. [2] At this rate the Corrib partners – Shell, Statoil and Vermillion – stand to make sales of $7.35billion from Corrib over a 20 year field lifespan. [3]

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Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington arrested over fine

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Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington arrested over fine

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Mark Hilliard: 6 May 2016

Shell to Sea campaigner Maura Harrington has been arrested on foot of a warrant for the non-payment of a €300 court fine.

Ms Harrington, a spokesperson for the protest group, was arrested on Friday afternoon in Mayo and transported by gardaí to the Dochas women’s prison in Dublin where she is to serve a ten day sentence.

Speaking to the Irish Times, her brother Sean Harrington said he believes the offence which led to the imposition of the fine would have been a protest action at the Corrib plant in or around 2012, possibly using her car to block access to the facility.

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Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington arrested in Mayo

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Friday 6 May 2016

SHELL TO SEA campaigner Maura Harrington has been arrested in Mayo and taken to Mountjoy Prison to serve time for an unpaid fine.

It is understood she was arrested this afternoon as she left a bank in Belmullet. She was taken to Belmullet garda station and then transported to the Dóchas Centre women’s prison at Mountjoy, where she is expected to spend ten days.

The activist was convicted last year in relation to the obstruction of a tunnel-boring machine at the Shell plant in Ballinaboy. A monetary penalty of €300 was imposed as part of her sentence, but she has refused to pay it.

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Blundering Shell E&P Ireland Director John Egan Resigns

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Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.06.28By John Donovan

I am aware of speculation over the claimed resignation of John Egan, as a director of Shell E&P Ireland.

It is, in fact, true.

The proof is provided below.

For a number of years, Egan has been the Communications supremo at Shell E&P Ireland, the main partner in the Corrib Gas Project, which has been surrounded by accusations of corruption from the outset.

Ironically, in view of his conduct, Egan claims expertise in reputation restoration.

On New Years Eve, Shell warned nearby residents about gas flaring at the newly commissioned onshore processing plant at Bellanaboy.

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Corrib gas a ‘template’ for ‘how not to undertake a development’

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Lorna Siggins: 26 JAN 2016

The Corrib gas project is a template for “how not to undertake a development”, according to a new planning approach published by the British Institution of Civil Engineers.

Although the gas project has secured its final Government approval from Minister for Energy Alex White, the prospect of further legal challenges and the large Garda presence at an “invitation-only” opening reflects the fact that it still does not have community consent.

Two of the report’s four authors say that had both Shell and Government agencies adopted a more democratic approach, they could have avoided cost overruns, including “the loss of at least €600 million loss to the tax payer”, and could also have “avoided the serious ensuing conflict with the local community”.

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20 years after gas discovery, Corrib opens in north Mayo

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Lorna Siggins: 24 JAN 2016

The €3.5 billion Corrib gas development is due to be opened by Minister of State for Natural Resources Joe McHugh on Monday, almost 20 years after the gas discovery was reported off the north Mayo coast.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had been earmarked for the invitation-only event, but will be at Downing Street in London. Corrib shareholders Shell, Statoil and Vermillion are hosting a plaque unveiling and lunch in Belmullet, almost 15km from the gas refinery.

While much of the town’s focus is currently on sale of the €13.7 million winning Lotto ticket in Carey’s newsagent, the project opening represents a significant milestone.

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Ruairí McKiernan: Corrib gas protesters did State some service

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…many of those involved have been ridiculed, slandered, spied on, harassed, beaten and jailed – all for upholding their democratic right to peaceful dissent. Incidents included the 2005 jailing of the Rossport Five, who spent 94 days in prison at the behest of Shell.

Ruairí McKiernan

As gas is flared into the skies above north Mayo, it is worth reflecting on a project that has been one of modern Ireland’s greatest scandals, a stunning fiasco in planning, economics, environmental protection and the abuse of civil liberties.

Far from it being just about energy supply, jobs and development, the Corrib gas project cuts to the core of this republic and asks big questions about how the country is run.

For more than 10 years now, campaigners have attempted to highlight the project’s many flaws.

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EPA investigating gas flaring levels at Corrib gas project

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Shell acknowledged that the flaring was “exceptional” on December 31st, and has promised to “take all measures” to minimise further occurrences…

Lorna Siggins: Mon 4 Jan 2016

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is investigating the intense flaring of gas at the Corrib gas plant which alarmed north Mayo residents on New Year’s Eve.

The EPA has confirmed it is “liaising and will continue to liaise with the licensee, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd regarding the operation of the flare”.

It says under the project’s emissions licence conditions, flaring can only be used “for safety reasons or for non-routine operational conditions”.

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Corrib Gas Controversy: Minister White’s Christmas Message to the People of Mayo & the High Court

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Gives High Court the two-fingered salute. Uses Christmas to sign off on Corrib gas despite pending judicial review of EPA licence.

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In an extraordinary, near clandestine decision in the middle of the Christmas holiday period, Alex White signed off on the final consent needed by Shell to operate the Corrib gas refinery at Ballinaboy.

This is despite the fact that proceedings are now before the High Court challenging the project’s pollution licence. On 14 December 2015, Judge Richard Humphries granted, in its entirety, an application for Judicial Review of Shell’s Corrib gas EPA licence to four Mayo residents.

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Shell Opens Natural Gas Wells Off Irish Coast

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A wall of steel protects the workers at the entrance to the Corrib gas terminal site, which opened on Wednesday in Bellanaboy Bridge, Ireland. Credit Paul McErlane/Bloomberg News

LONDON — Two decades after being discovered, natural gas began flowing on Wednesday from wells off Ireland’s northwest coast. Royal Dutch Shell, the oil company, said it had begun producing gas from undersea wells, part of an effort for Ireland to produce more of its own resources.

Opening the taps in the Corrib field, more than 50 miles offshore, is a breakthrough for the oil and gas industry in Ireland, which had mostly disappointing results in recent years while encountering resistance from environmental groups.

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Natural gas begins flowing from controversial Corrib field

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Peter Murtagh: 30 Dec 2015

Natural gas is flowing into the national supply grid from the Corrib gas field off Co Mayo for the first time since it was discovered in 1996.

One of six wellheads, drilled in 350m of water 84km off the west coast, was opened on Wednesday by the field developer, Shell E&P Ireland.

This started gas flowing through a 20 inch diameter off-shore pipeline to an 8.3km-long on-shore pipeline, which includes a 4.9km tunnel beneath Sruwaddacon Bay, the longest in Ireland.

It continues from there into the company’s reception terminal at Ballanaboy, near Belmullet in Co Mayo.

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Desperate measures for a desperate Corrib project

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Screen Shot 2015-12-30 at 16.57.35New Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – December 30th 2015 – For immediate release

—  Minister White slips consent to Shell during Christmas period —

Shell to Sea have called the granting by Alex White of consent to operate the Corrib Gas pipeline – desperate and disgraceful. Permission was granted despite Shell’s EPA consent to operate the Corrib Gas refinery currently being admitted for hearing before the High Court. [1]

Shell to Sea is of the view that Shell possibly had contractual obligations which required that Corrib gas flow before end 2015 so they once again snapped their fingers at government to do the needful – in this instance the government of ‘law and order’ has shown itself no different to Fianna Fáil.

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Shell granted permission for Corrib gas project

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Tue, Dec 29, 2015

Minister for Energy Alex White has given final approval for the Corrib gas project, almost 20 years after the discovery of the gas field off the Mayo coastline.

Mr White has issued Shell E&P Ireland with consent to operate the Corrib natural gas pipeline, linking the subsea gas facilities 83km offshore to the onshore refinery at Ballinaboy.

The consent is subject to 20 conditions relating to “environmental management, operation, control and monitoring”, Mr White said in a statement.

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Concern over Shell gas flow delay

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Concern over Shell gas flow delay

Saturday, 26th December, 2015

A MAYO TD has expressed concern over the delay in issuing the final regulatory approval to Shell E&P Ireland that will enable the company to start producing gas from the Corrib Gas Field in north Mayo.

Deputy Michelle Mulherin said it is the interest of the State to have gas flowing and she called on Energy Minister Alex White to ensure the assessment process be given additional resources and expedited.

She argued: “From an international point of view it doesn’t send out a great message, especially as we continue to press hard to attract further foreign direct investment into this country. The last thing the country wants is to be seen as ‘the poster boy for frustration’ by people in industry and trade who could be put off in investing here.

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Shell To Sea JR Legal Fund

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Four local residents have initiated a legal challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision granting Shell E&P Ireland an INDUSTRIAL EMISSIONS LICENCE P0738-03 for the Corrib gas refinery in Co Mayo.

THIS IS THE FINAL DECISION TO PUMP THE GAS

In proceedings before the High Court, four residents argue THAT the decision to grant the license is flawed and should be set aside.

The action, against the EPA and the State, has been brought by Martin and Maura Harrington, and Monica Muller and Peter Sweetman. 

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Corrib gas project spend to top €3.6bn as Shell await Government approval

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Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 23.10.02The costs of the Corrib gas project are set to top €3.6bn by the end of this year, more than four times the original estimate of €800m.

Gordon Deegan: Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Yesterday, operator Shell E&P Ltd confirmed that the 2015 spend by the Corrib partners on the field will be €260m.

Some €320m was spent last year, as total costs approach €3.6bn by the end of 2015.

A spokesman for Shell Ireland said: “As construction of the Corrib development is essentially completed, the capital investment in the project will reduce significantly from 2016 onwards.

“The Corrib facilities have been technically ready to start up since September 1 last.

“After what has been a protracted development phase, Shell is understandably eager to start producing gas as soon as possible.

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Controversial Corrib gas will flow within weeks

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Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 17.45.17The projected spend of €250m on the controversial project this year will lead to the overall costs exceeding €3.6bn. This is more than four times the original estimate of €800m for the project, which is 12 years behind its original projected completion time of 2003.

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Áine Ryan: TUESDAY, 13 OCTOBER 2015

Penultimate permission granted by EPA

ALMOST two decades after its discovery, the Corrib Gas field  has been given its penultimate permission, an industrial emissions licence, by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The final statutory permission for the €3.6bn project is expected to be issued very soon by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White, clearing the way for the gas to flow from the Bellanaboy refinery.  

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Petition to Sign – Minister White: Don’t reward Shell abuses in Ireland

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Screen Shot 2015-09-22 at 08.19.41Dear John,

Interesting to read the two recent articles about Shell/Corrib on your site – Shell’s arrogance, plus their presumption of statutory and ministerial subservient compliance still reign supreme!

Shell could at least have made a cursory acknowledgement of a person’s right to recourse to law by way of Judicial Review of the two presumed consents but, once again, they would appear to know something the rest of us don’t.

I would much appreciate if you could draw your reader’s attention to a Shell to Sea petition addressed to the line Minister Alex White which asks/demands that he refuse Shell consent to operate their ‘Space Shuttle syndrome’ refinery at Ballinaboy. As this is of local, national and global significance, I hope many readers will sign it over the next two days.

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Shell seeks permission to operate Corrib gas pipeline

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by Joe Leogue: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Shell Ireland has officially applied to the Government for permission to operate the controversial pipeline from the Corrib gas field off the coast of Mayo.

The application is the first to be made under the Gas Act since the completion of its construction.

The pipeline is a joint venture by the Corrib Gas Partners which comprises Shell E&P Ireland Limited, Statoil, and Vermillion.

The application was sent to Minister for Communications, Energy, and Natural Resources Alex White on Tuesday, August 18.

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Shell asked for £25,000 worth of alcohol to be delivered to gardaí in Mayo, court told

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The detailed claims were made in a Mayo court last week.

TWO FORMER SUPPLIERS to the Corrib gas project told a jury they supplied £25,000-worth of alcohol to gardaí in 2007 on behalf of Shell E&P Ireland.

The allegations were made by Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney, co-owners of OSSL, which had previously supplied personal protective equipment for the Corrib gas project in north Mayo.

Both claimed that a person from Shell E&P Ireland asked them to buy alcohol in Northern Ireland and store it in a container at the back of their premises in Bangor Erris.

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Men tell court they supplied alcohol to Belmullet Gardaí for Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 16.56.42EXTRACTS

Under oath, Mr Neil Rooney claimed that the first delivery of alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station was made in 2005, and that in 2007, he was asked by Conor Byrne, a Senior Pipeline Engineer with Shell, to make a large delivery.

Mr Rooney, from Downpatrick, Co Down, said he went to the north and bought £7,000 worth of alcohol. When Mr Byrne saw the amount of alcohol, Mr Rooney claimed he was told there were 300 gardaí in Erris and to get more. He said he bought another £18,000 worth of alcohol.

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Trial shown footage of protesters at Shell compound

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The jury in the trial of two Shell protesters were shown video footage of the protest where up to 70 protesters entered a Shell compound in north Mayo.

The video footage was captured by CCTV at the compound and by security officers policing the site when the protesters entered the Shell compound at Aughoose, Pollathomas in Co Mayo on June 23rd, 2013.

Gerry Bourke of Aughoose, Pollathomas Co Mayo and Liam Heffernan of Kilnagear, Belcarra, Castlebar, Co Mayo are on trial in Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court both charged with violent disorder and criminal damage as a result of the protest.

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IRISH SHELL CORRUPTION COVER-UP CONTINUES

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As can be seen from the Irish Times article printed below, an Irish Shell manager was cross-examined under oath yesterday in court, about the free Shell alcohol used to reward Irish cops for their services (brutalising protesters) 

By John Donovan

The Irish Police (the Garda) are currently investigating allegations of harassment by recipients of bribes made on behalf of Shell by its then “Mr Fixit” company, OSSL.

The directors of OSSL are the subjects of the investigation, which the Garda warns may result in criminal charges.

I note that the recipients of the bribes are not suing for defamation on the grounds that the bribery allegations are untrue, but instead are complaining bitterly about being constantly reminded by OSSL that they caved in to Shell corruption. They accepted valuable gifts to smooth the path of the troubled Corrib project. 

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EPA turns down oral hearing request on Corrib gas project licence

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EPA turns down oral hearing request on Corrib gas project licence

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Lorna Siggins: Friday, 3 July 2015

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has turned down requests for an oral hearing into a revised licence sought by Shell E&P Ireland for the Corrib gas project in north Mayo.

The revised licence covering atmospheric and marine emissions from the Corrib gas refinery is one of the last State authorisations required before the project becomes fully operational.

Shell had received its original EPA licence in 2007, but sought a review after it agreed to a demand by Erris fishermen that “treated produced water” from the refinery be discharged out at the well head, rather than some 12 km offshore.

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The lessons for all from the Corrib Gas project in North Mayo

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Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 10.01.13The lessons for all from the Corrib Gas project in North Mayo

Major infrastructure that is years behind schedule and massively over budget

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

The Corrib Gas project represents a cautionary example of how large industrial developments should not be handled by governments or multinational companies. A lack of consultation and sensitivity to local concerns in the initial stages led gradually to resistance and confrontation. Smouldering resentment over what objectors regarded as unqualified state support for the developer caught fire when five protesters, concerned about the safety of a gas pipeline and its proximity to their homes, were jailed on an application from Shell. From there, there was no going back.

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The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

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Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 19.31.15The Corrib legacy: what the protests achieved

A rerouting of the pipeline and greater public awareness of how Ireland treats its natural resources were among the positive outcomes of the Shell to Sea, campaigners say

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Bríd McGarry, a Mayo landowner, and Mary Corduff, wife of jailed farmer Willie Corduff, after five Mayo farmers were jailed in 2005 for refusing to give an undertaking not to obstruct the construction of the Corrib gas pipe line. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Lorna Siggins: Monday June 29, 2015

“You’ve gone very quiet up there.” North Mayo resident Mary Corduff reckons that if she had a euro for every time she heard this remark over the past few months, her purse could be pretty full. “People think because they don’t see us on protesting on the television that we have accepted this, but we haven’t,” Corduff says, looking out of her farmhouse window towards the Corrib gas refinery several miles away.

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The Shell Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

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The Corrib impact: business boomed and friendships died

As the gas is about to be brought onshore, Peter Murtagh takes a tour of the Corrib gas plant and speaks to people affected by its arrival.

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SAT, Jun 27, 2015

Gas is expected to come later this year to the Shell terminal in Bellanaboy, Co Mayo, through the controversial pipeline that rises from the Atlantic seabed 83km offshore. The terminal is currently being commissioned and tested. As gas passes through the terminal, impurities will be removed and pressure adjusted before the gas is pumped into the Bord Gáis network.

Outside the terminal, at Glengad and Aghoose, the start and end points of the 4.9km tunnel under Sruwaddacon Bay, work to restore the landscape is under way.

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Shell’s objection takes issue with aspects of nine conditions attached to the revised licence which the EPA is likely to grant. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Lorna Siggins: 13 May 12015

Shell E&P Ireland is author of one of eight objections submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a revised emissions licence for the Corrib gas project. Seven other valid objections to the revised licence include two requests for an oral hearing which the EPA says its board will consider “at a future date”.

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IRELAND: 1100 People Call on EPA not to Grant Shell Emissions Licence

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News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – May 11th, 2015 – For immediate release

Last week 1100 people signed a petition calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reject Shell’s application for an Industrial Emissions Licence for the Shell/Corrib Gas refinery at Bellanaboy, Co Mayo. They have also called for an oral hearing to be held into the application. The petition was started by the Shell to Sea campaign and was hosted by the “Avaaz” community petitions website. [1]

Shell are currently unable to operate the Bellanaboy refinery as their earlier Emissions Licence was quashed by the High Court last year.  Martin Harrington successfully took the challenge on the basis that the EPA was wrong in granting Shell an Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) licence before undertaking an Environmental Impact Assessment. [2]

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Mayo men sue gardaí over alleged brutality at Shell to Sea protest

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Article from BreakingNews.ie published Wed 29 April 2015

Mayo men sue Irish Cops over alleged brutality at Shell to Sea protest *(were the cops tipsy?)

Three Mayo men are suing for damages over alleged garda brutality at a Shell to Sea protest eight years ago.

Patrick Coyle, and brothers Patrick and Martin O’Donnell, claim they were assaulted at Bellanaboy bridge on January 19, 2007.

It is the men’s case that gardaí displayed brutality and indiscipline during a protest outside the Shell oil refinery at Bellanaboy.

They claim Patrick Coyle was punched in the face and struck on the back of the head while trying to stop another demonstrator being pulled from the line of protesters by gardaí.

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SHELL CORRUPTION OF IRISH POLICE, AS ADMITTED BY ITS AGENT/CONTRACTOR: OSSL

Photo: John Donovan: Co-founder Royal Dutch Shell Plc.com

EMAIL FROM JOHN DONOVAN CIRCULATED TO EVERY IRISH T.D. ON 6 APRIL 2015

Response from The Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission on 2 April 2015

SHELL CORRUPTION OF IRISH POLICE, AS ADMITTED BY ITS AGENT/CONTRACTOR: OSSL

(£30,000 worth of free alcohol given as a Christmas Gift to Garda officers.)

On 25 March 2015, I sent an email to the GSOC at the written invitation of Irish Justice Minister Ms Frances Fitzgerald T.D. supplying new evidence pertaining to the OSSL allegations against Shell E&P Ireland.  

It was in the form of an audio file and related transcript of a covertly recorded meeting between OSSL directors and their Dublin solicitor, Mr Marc Fitzgibbon. He suspected that the meeting was being recorded by OSSL, but said he was not concerned if it was. The alcohol was mentioned over 60 times in the recorded meeting.

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Corrib Gas still set to flow this year, says Shell spokesperson

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 16.37.36Shell E&P Ireland says it is still on schedule to have gas flowing from the Corrib Gas Field within the next six months.

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An 800 metre section of a water discharge pipe, which will carry treated surface water from the terminal at Bellanaboy in north Mayo 12 kilometres out to sea once the plant is opertional, had come loose from the seabed and was floating on the surface of Broadhaven Bay two weeks ago.

However, the problem has not had any impact on the target date to have gas flowing by the middle of this year.

A spokesperson for Shell E&P Ireland said the ducting has now been temporarily repositioned on the seabed and remediation work is ongoing to find a more permanent solution within the next few weeks.

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Shell led Corrib Gas Pipeline Project comes unstuck

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Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 16.37.36Article by Norma Costello published 23 March 2015 by vice.com under the headline:

A Massive Pipe Came Loose in an Atlantic Gas Field and Irish Environmentalists Are Not Happy

The Corib Gas pipeline project by the Western Irish fishing village of Rossport, County Mayo, has always been a source of controversy. It was established amid arrests and police batons, against the wishes of locals and environmental protesters. The project is supposed to start pumping gas this summer, and those activists remain convinced that extracting fossil fuels from an area famed for its natural beauty is a bad idea.

Just over a week ago, an 800 metre pipe that was supposed to be fixed to the sea-bed floated to the surface. Feeling that their fears may have been justified, local activists are demanding that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) looks into it. I contacted the EPA who had previously said they would be investigating the issue. When I asked whether members of the EPA would visit the site, I was told they “don’t consider it necessary at this time”.

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OSSL BLACKMAIL PLOT AGAINST SHELL

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 23.49.54To its credit Shell has not given in to the subsequent money demands, but neither has it apparently reported the matter to the Irish Police. One can see the difficulty. How do you go about asking the Irish police to investigate a blackmail plot over free alcohol worth over €35,000 given to the Irish Police accused of being “Shell’s Cops” and acting brutally towards people protesting against the controversial project?

JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO SUPERINTENDENT PATRICK DISKIN OF THE IRISH POLICE, THE GARDA

From: John Donovan <[email protected]>
Subject: OSSL BLACKMAIL PLOT AGAINST SHELL

Date: 16 November 2014 20:43:08 GMT
Cc: [email protected], Ed Vulliamy <[email protected]>, Lorna Siggins <[email protected]>, Dan Griffin <[email protected]>, Áine Ryan <[email protected]>, Paul O’Donoghue <[email protected]>, “Boucher-Hayes, Philip” <[email protected]>, Olga Cronin <[email protected]>, Erlend Skarsaune <[email protected]>
To: [email protected]

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Corrib Gas Project: Blackmail & Corruption?

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.34.44JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL CIRCULATED 4/5 NOVEMBER 2014 TO EVERY IRISH TD MEMBER OF THE IRISH PARLIAMENT.

This information is being supplied to you despite written threats I have received from Mr Marc Fitzgibbon, a senior partner of Dublin law firm, Lavelle.

Mr Fitzgibbon represents OSS, the small “Mr Fixit” company which has distributed “sweeteners” (bribes) to smooth the path of the controversial Corrib Gas Project – the consortium venture led by Shell (45%), in which the Norwegian State Oil company Statoil (36.5%) and the Canadian company, Vermilion Energy (18.5%), are Shell’s partners.

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OSSL Blackmail Plot Against Shell?

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By John Donovan

Since 22 October 2014 I have been updating an article posing the question: “Shell being blackmailed?”

Top people at Royal Dutch Shell  have all spoken directly to a director of a former Shell “Mr Fixit” company in Ireland, OSSL, which has bombarded Shell with money demands to settle a dispute that Shell says it has already settled.

To be specific, Desmond Kane of OSSL has spoken in person to Peter Voser, Ben van Beurden, Jorma Ollila, Michiel Brandjes, Michael Crothers (and other senior people at Shell).

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Shell 15 page confidential statement about OSSL allegations

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By John Donovan

I have provided a link to a 15 page document dated 3 October 2014, which Shell supplied to OSSL, the Irish company that has made serious allegations against Shell.

The information in the document may be of interest to some readers who have followed the long running saga and likewise newspapers and TV and radio stations who have covered the story.

As will be seen, Shell repeatedly states that OSSL has demanded money from them when all claims by OSSL against Shell have, according to Shell, already been settled. 

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The truth about OSSL allegations

 By John Donovan

OSSL, the former Mr Fixit company for Shell EP Ireland, distributed sweeteners (bribes) on behalf of Shell to various parties to ease the tortuously slow progress of the controversial Corrib Gas Project.

The lucky recipients included a senior Irish Police Officer, Detective Chief Superintendent John Gilligan ([email protected])

OSSL has now supplied me with evidence confirming that their allegations against Shell are true.

The evidence comes from a person of high repute personally present when senior  representatives of Shell, including the Managing Director of Shell EP Ireland. Michael Crothers, carried out repeated negotiations in an attempt to agree a settlement of monies owed to OSSL for buying the sweeteners on Shell’s behalf, including alcohol.  

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Shell’s unwelcome sponsorship of the arts

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Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.18.48By John Donovan

Earlier this year campaigners and climate activists applauded the end of the Shell Classic International series at the South Bank Centre in London. 

SEE: Campaigners celebrate end of Shell’s Southbank sponsorship

Protestors, including from the Shell OUT SOUNDS organisation and PlatformLondon.org strongly objected to what has been aptly described as “oil-branded concerts.”

All take particular exception to Shell’s atrocious track record in Nigeria.

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 15.26.32Today The Irish Times has published an article reporting that the Shell to Sea campaign group in Ireland intends to mount a public protest about Shell’s sponsorship of the largest traditional Irish music Festival, “Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann.”  

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Joint call for inquiry into Corrib policing

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.34.44Extracts from an Irish Times article by Lorna Siggins published 20 June 2014

Social justice campaigner Fr Peter McVerry, Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke, four TDs, one Senator and seven academics are signatories to a petition for an independent inquiry into policing of the north Mayo Shell/Corrib gas dispute.

Transparency International chief executive John Devitt, Garda whistleblower John Wilson, former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday and film-maker Lelia Doolan have also signed the petition, supported by five non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and 31 public figures.

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Changes to Ireland’s licensing terms for oil and gas

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News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea

June 18th , 2014 – For immediate release

CHANGES TO OIL/GAS LICENSING TERMS ‘COSMETIC’

State continues to rely primarily on corporation tax to extract revenue

The changes to Ireland’s licensing terms for oil and gas announced by Pat Rabbitte today (18th June 2014) are cosmetic and will do little to address the State’s mismanagement of its valuable resources, according to Shell to Sea.[1]

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrington said: “These changes are cosmetic, Ireland will continue to rely almost exclusively on a tax on profits as a means of extracting revenue from the oil and gas it has given to private companies. We have seen recently how creative accounting has resulted in corporations such as Apple paying almost no tax on profits in Ireland .” [2,3]

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Clare Daly says gardaí at Corrib gas site are the ‘hired hands’ of Shell

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.29.11Extract from an article by thejournal.ie published 17 June 2014

INDEPENDENT TD CLARE DALY has backed the calls of Shell to Sea campaigners for an independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib gas project in Co Mayo. Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Daly said that the “continued intimidation and harassment of the local community” by Shell needed to be investigated. Daly claimed that certain gardaí monitoring the project were acting as “hired hands for a multinational” and “arresting people without charge”.

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Call for a Public Inquiry into the Policing of the Shell/Corrib Gas Project

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Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 17.34.44Call for a Public Inquiry into the Policing of the Shell/Corrib Gas Project by the named eminent individuals and parties listed below

We support the recent demands for an inquiry into allegations of systemic Garda corruption and violence. We believe any such inquiry should include the Shell/Corrib pipeline police operation in North West Mayo. This is one of the longest running police operations in the history of the Irish state and has drawn critical attention from national and international human rights organisations1 since 2006 over the alleged violence and intimidation used by Gardaí against campaigners.

In 2007, campaigners submitted complaints en masse against the Gardaí to the newly established Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC). Out of the 111 complaints received by GSOC between May 2007 and November 2009, 78 were deemed admissible and 7 sent to the DPP. The DPP rejected prosecution in all 7 cases. The majority of campaigners have since stopped submitting complaints to GSOC. In 2010, complaints from 400 Kilcommon residents were submitted to Shell’s Belmullet office detailing the “escalating physical and psychological harassment” continuing in the area. In 2012, residents again submitted a mass complaint, this time to Mayo County Council, outlining serious grievances arising out of the project, including experiences of private security and state policing, with no result. Any inquiry into the policing of the Shell/Corrib Gas Project cannot ignore the following extract from the minutes of the Shell Committee of Managing Directors meeting held in London 22/23 July 2002:”It was noted that development of the Corrib field may be delayed until 2004 as planning consent had been refused for the terminal. The committee queried whether the Group had sufficiently well placed contacts with the Irish government and regulators. Paul Skinner undertook to explore this issue further in consultation with the Country Chairman in Ireland”.

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€1.5bn to be spent on Irish oil and gas finds in next three years

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Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 16.29.29Extract from an Irish Times article by Ciaran Hancock published Mon 16 June 2014

About €1.5 billion will be spent on oil and gas exploration around Ireland over the next three years, according to a study by accounting group PwC. Eighty per cent of those surveyed said they were optimistic about the chances of discovering oil here but almost two-thirds said the future development of the industry would depend on the licensing and financial terms offered by the Government. Nine out of 10 respondents said the “events” in Corrib, where Shell has been seeking to develop a natural gas field since 1996 against a backdrop of significant local opposition, had done “serious or significant damage” to Ireland’s reputation among international oil and gas companies.

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Garda Ombudsman Investigation of Shell Corruption allegations in disarray

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 16.11.57By John Donovan 

The investigation of allegations made by a Shell whistleblower company OSSL, of alleged Shell sponsored corruption of the Irish police, appears to be in a shambles following ill-judged on-the-record comments by the officer leading the inquiry, Johan Groenewald.

The relevant extraordinary email correspondence with me can be viewed here.

In the exchanges, which became heated on his part, Mr Groenewald denounced OSSL as being untrustworthy, rubbished and disregarded vital evidence, issued a threat against me and denied that he tore up (and has apparently disregarded) statements given to a senior Garda officer by OSSL directors. At some point he seems to have lost his impartiality. 

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‘Shell can celebrate all they want, but the fight is by no means over’

Screen Shot 2013-10-15 at 15.39.36Extracts from an article published 23 May 2014 by the journal.ie

THE COMPLETION OF the longest tunnel in Ireland is being celebrated by Shell Ireland – but the works have not been without disruption or tragedy. The construction of the 4.9 kilometre-long tunnel has been mired in controversy over the years with many residents and activists protesting to stop the building of the pipeline and the tunnel that runs under Sruwaddacon Bay, a special area of conservation. …speaking to TheJournal.ie, Shell to Sea activist Maura Harrington said: “Shell can celebrate all they want, but the fight is by no means over.”

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GAS from the controversial Corrib field should begin flowing next year

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Shell’s Irish and German tunnelling team celebrate the completion of 4.9km long Corrib Gas Pipeline Tunnel yesterday.

Extracts from an independent.ie article by Paul Melia published 23 May 2014 under the headline: Gas will flow next year after Fionnuala finds light at end of tunnel

GAS from the controversial Corrib field should begin flowing from next year following completion of the country’s largest tunnel. It was originally expected gas would flow from the Mayo field back in 2003. The project attracted strong levels of local opposition, which has delayed the scheme. “The completion of the Corrib tunnel brings us a step closer to producing first gas in 2015 and to improving security of supply for the Irish energy market,” said Shell E&P managing director Michael Crothers.

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