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John Donovan’s interview on Dublin Newstalk Radio 106fm – ‘The Breakfast Show with Eamon Dunphy’

ShellNews.net: The Jailing of the Rossport 5 by Shell

John Donovan’s interview on Dublin Newstalk Radio 106fm – “The Breakfast Show with Eamon Dunphy”: Broadcast Thursday Morning 8.17am, 4 August 2005

Posted 17.30 Saturday 6 August 2005

EXTRACTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

Unofficial Transcript: Extraneous utterances have been deleted e.g. err

Substitute Host: Mick Clifford

Mick’s guests: Dr Mark Garavan (spokesman for the jailed men – the Rossport 5 – and for the related “Shell to Sea” campaign”): John Beasant (co-author of the recently published book SHELL SHOCK – THE SECRETS AND SPIN OF AN OIL GIANT) and John Donovan of ShellNews.net.

Mick’s introduction to the discussion:

Welcome back to the show the time now is 17 minutes past 8… Mick Clifford standing in for Eamon…

We turn again now to the story of the Rossport Five and it must be emphasised that this does involve a group of otherwise law abiding middle aged men separated from their families and their livelihoods and incarcerated all because of fears they have for their families safety…

Those fears about safety are unjustified the company Shall say yet the very same company has a record which is far from exemplary when its comes to safety and dealing with local people wherever they go to drill for resources…

First of all we have on the line Mark Garavan… (discussion takes place)

Mark Garavan: “the men were then committed by Shell to prison…” indefinite incarceration”…

Also on the line we have John Donovan, John runs a website ShellNews.net which describes itself as the worlds largest collection of news reports and revelations about Shell… Good Morning John…

John Donovan: Good morning to you

Mick: John on your website you have three predictions in relation to the Corrib gas field that you made at the beginning of this development… you suggested that the project would turn into a PR disaster for Shell… I think that’s certainly come true… you also predicted that the Irish government would turn on Shell… now I don’t know if that’s the case… but you also said that Shell would probably use undercover agents to gather intelligence and engage in other sinister activities against the protest group… what basis do you have for predicting that?

John Donovan: Its based on a pattern of undercover activity against other groups that have protested against Shell… In Nigeria and elsewhere… Our own background is that we have been involved is a series for disputes with Shell over the last decade… we’ve sued them in the High Court six times and what we didn’t.

Mick: why John…

John Donovan: pardon… we were running a sales promotion agency we worked for Shell for a decade… had a very successful relationship with them and then a new Shell management came on board that took a different stance towards its suppliers… they were very ruthless people… and we found to put it bluntly that they were stealing ideas that we had put to them in confidence… and launching them themselves and we did not take very kindly to that so we tried to talk to them and come to out of court settlements but we ended up actually issuing proceedings… and Shell has paid us several hundred thousand in damages over the years… but it has been a very difficult struggle because what we didn’t anticipate was that we would be faced with undercover activity…

Mick: Could you give us an example John of that type of…?

John Donovan: Yes… well it started of… we had many threats from Shell… to make the litigation drawn out and difficult because they wanted to drain the financial resources of a weaker opponent… and then we actually caught red-handed someone rifling through private mail at out offices and they presented fake credentials – a business card for a company which did not exist and eventually we managed to corner Shell… their Legal Director Richard Wiseman… into admitting that this was an undercover agent working for them…

Mick: and you’ve also suggested that people posing as journalist were working for Shell?

John Donovan: we were bombarded by… our solicitor was contacted by a gentleman who claimed to be working for The European newspaper… he flew in from Paris… interviewed me and some of our key witnesses… my suspicions were aroused by some comments that he made… I phoned The European and he wasn’t working for them to cut a long story short… We never established who he actually was working for but it was obviously someone with very deep pockets… he treated me to lunch at a very expensive restaurant and of course I thought I was dealing with a genuine journalist with interest in the story but he was obviously on an intelligence gathering mission for someone… apart from that we had a series of very suspicious burglaries my own home… the home of a key witness… even my solicitors house was burgled… all of our documents relating to the case were gone through… Shell admitted the undercover activity at our offices but they denied.. they categorically denied the other things that have happened since then

Mick: interesting… also on the line is John Beasant, John is the co-author of Shell Shock – the secrets and spin of an oil giant… a book he wrote with Ian Cummins… John Good Morning…

John Beasant: Good Morning Mick

Mick: John in your book you delve into the history Shell have of oppressing people… particularly the instance in Nigeria…

John Beasant: yes and listening to your two previous guests there… particularly the former one… there are alarming similarities between the way… the manner in which Shell conducted itself in the Niger Delta and its dealing with the Ogoni people… whose land and rivers were polluted by company pipelines… and the distressing story of those provocatively brave gentleman who now reside in jail in Dublin from County Mayo… alarming similarities… As I say… in the style and the manner in which Shell meets its opponents… and your previous speaker (referring to John Donovan) I must say his experience confirms very much the sort of material which was uncovered in the research stages of Shell Shock…

royaldutchshellplc.com and its also non-profit sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellenergy.website, shellnazihistory.com, royaldutchshell.website, johndonovan.website, shellnews.net and shell2004.com are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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