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Irish Times: Corrib activist to attend Shell agm

Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent
Published: May 14, 2007

North Mayo farmer Willie Corduff, Ireland’s first winner of the international Goldman Environmental Award, plans to attend Royal Dutch Shell plc’s annual general meeting in Holland tomorrow.

Mr Corduff, who was jailed for 94 days in 2005 over his opposition to the Corrib gas pipeline, is one of five members of the Shell to Sea campaign travelling as shareholders to Royal Dutch Shell headquarters in The Hague.

He says he intends to raise concerns at the meeting over Shell’s involvement in the Corrib gas project in Mayo, and will speak as a recent winner of the Goldman Environmental Award.

The Shell to Sea campaign was donated 50 shares over a year ago by an anonymous donor, and these were distributed among residents opposed to the Corrib gas project and leading campaign members. Eve Campbell of the Rossport Solidarity Camp said this was the first time they had decided to exercise their right to attend the agm as a group.

Registered shareholders with the multinational can attend, speak and vote at agms, according to Shell, but voting entitlements depend on the number of shares held at the time.

Ms Campbell said the aim of the trip was to voice concerns about Shell’s activities in Erris and to let shareholders know what was happening.

“We also wanted to highlight the issue in Holland, and to let Dutch people know that what is happening in Erris would never happen in their country.”

The agm, which is relayed by satellite link to Shell shareholders in London, will be presented with Shell’s annual report and will elect directors and auditors. Ms Campbell said the Shell to Sea campaign had been working with a Shell shareholding grouping, the Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR).

The Oxford-based organisation holds shares in Royal Dutch Shell on behalf of its members – comprising representatives of mainstream Christian denominations, church bodies and individuals. The ECCR has undertaken a number of analyses of records in global corporate responsibility held by multinationals such as Shell, Rio Tinto mining, BP, Glaxo Smithkline and Marks & Spencer. It is compiling a report on the 900 million Corrib gas project off Mayo.

Mr Corduff will be making his trip to Holland almost a fortnight after returning to north Mayo with the $125,000 (92,418.12) Goldman award and trophy.

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