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Shell to Sea: CAMPAIGN UPDATE AND STATEMENT BY DR MARK GARAVAN

– United and stronger
– Support from head of Norwegian oil and gas workers union
– Complaint to RTE

– News updates and events at www.ShelltoSea.com and www.IndyMedia.e

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Friends,

Following a very intense and disturbing few weeks the Shell to Sea campaign is stronger and more united than ever. Attempts to criminalise us, slander, repress and divide us have failed.

Our community remains in shock. However with with support from our friends throughout the world we will maintain the pressure to send Shell to Sea and to expose the corruption and lies that have led us here.

Recently  our national broadcaster joined the ranks of those that seek to silence us. See the press release below for more details.

We ask that all caring people express their disgust and outrage that our national broadcaster would use the brand name of Primetime on behalf of Shell and its supporters.

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CONTACT INFO:

http://www.rte.ie/news/primetime.html

Email head of RTE TV: [email protected]

Email Prime Time: [email protected]

Call Prime Time: 01-2083434

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At a national meeting of S2S support groups last weekend it was agreed to step up our efforts in advance of the forthcoming election. More details will follow on this.

In the meantime please continue your support, solidarity and friendship in these difficult times.

Beir Bua!

Shell to Sea.com

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Shell to Sea Statement
27.11.06

Shell to Sea warmly welcomes the strong declaration of support it has received from Terje Nustad, leader of SAFE, the main confederation of oil and gas industry workers in Norway. SAFE represents 7,000 industry personnel in Norway. Mr Nustad has completed a three-day fact finding visit to North Mayo and addressed Shell to Sea s national meeting on Saturday and our local community meeting on Sunday. He was accompanied by Mr Helga Ryggvik, a leading Norwegian historian and expert on Statoil.

In his address to the local community Mr Nustad said:  Statoil s actions in Mayo is against the ethical values that they would apply in Norway.  Mr Ryggvik said:  Statoil would not dare to act in this way in Norway .

Mr Nustad pledged his union support to the Shell to Sea campaign. He is to meet the head of Statoil in Dublin today. He has committed his union to bringing information regarding Statoil s involvement in the Corrib gas project to political leaders and public opinion in Norway.

Shell to Sea is currently focusing on mobilising its support in Mayo. Three new Shell to Sea groups are being established this week in Castlebar, Westport and Ballina.

Finally, Shell to Sea spokesperson, Mark Garavan, is making a formal complaint to RTE over Primetime s decision to exclude vital poll data from their programme last Thursday. This showed 44% of respondents favouring an off-shore option for the Corrib gas compared to 29% favouring the existing Bellanaboy proposal. Serious matters of impartiality and commitment to public service broadcasting arise for RTE.

For comment and verification contact Mark Garavan 087-9023687.
For further information regarding SAFE see www.safe.no Complaint to RTE

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November 27th, 2006

I wish to lodge a formal complaint with RTE regarding last Thursday s Primetime programme (November 23rd).

1. RTE chose to conduct an opinion poll on the Corrib gas project with
The Irish Independent. This paper has had a clear and overt editorial position in support of the existing Corrib Gas project and has published numerous articles, opinion pieces and editorials to this effect. RTE programme makers operate under Guidelines which require them to ensure that no joint opinion poll conducted by them with a third party can be used for propaganda purposes. It was apparent from Fridays distortion of the poll findings in the Irish Independent that the Independent seriously misrepresented the data. This raises a serious issue for RTE and has done damage to RTE’s reputation as an independent, public service broadcaster.

2. A key poll finding was excluded by RTE. Though the question was poorly framed, the finding was nonetheless clear. 44% of respondents supported an off-shore processing option, 29% supported the Bellanaboy option and 12% wanted the project abandoned. The viewing public had a right to be informed of this finding. Why was it excluded? If this critical question was to be excluded did this not undermine the validity and comprehensiveness of the other findings which purported to give a full account of Mayo opinion on the Corrib gas matter?

Other matters that are of concern:

The panel discussion was edited despite assurances that this would not happen. All references by me to the full poll were edited out which undermined the purported comprehensiveness of the discussion. Though I was furnished with the full poll findings, I was not informed, either before or after the recording, that one of the findings was to be excluded subsequently and all references to it to be edited out from broadcast.
This placed me at a significant disadvantage in the discussion.

In the broadcast programme, the Garda superintendent in charge of operations at Bellanaboy was permitted to give his analysis of the situation. He raised a number of allegations including abuse, assault, intimidation and threatening phone calls. None of these matters have come before the courts yet a clear link was established between all of these issues and the Shell to Sea campaign. The superintendent was not subject to questioning nor was he queried on Garda activity in policing the protests. It was not pointed out to viewers that over ten formal complaints have been made to the Garda Complaints Board regarding Garda actions. It was not pointed out that a number of senior political figures from a number of parties, including Trevor Sargent and Michael D. Higgins, have publicly criticised the Gardai for their handling of protesters. No local protesters were invited to give their accounts of Garda policing.

In conclusion, this programme fell far short of the standards expected of RTE as a public service broadcaster. This is particularly disappointing as Primetime in particular has a good reputation and has previously addressed the Corrib gas conflict in a fair and reasonable manner.

Local people and I participated in good faith in the programme and feel seriously let down by what was subsequently broadcast. It is essential that RTE correct the record as soon as possible and publish the full poll findings.

Yours sincerely,
Mark Garavan.
Spokesperson Shell to Sea.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its 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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