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MICHAEL DWYER’S SECURITY CONTACTS: International armed and unarmed security provided by Shell agent in Ireland

 APRIL 24, 2009
THE PHOENIX MAGAZINE

VISITORS this week to the website of the security firm where alleged mercenary Michael Dwyer had previously worked – Integrated Risk Management (IRM) – were met with the notice that “our website is being updated at the moment. Please come back soon.” However, Goldhawk noticed some subtle changes to the website after the initial update.

The shooting dead of Dwyer by police in Bolivia last week generated huge interest in the media with The Irish Times leading the way, complete with large photograph of Dwyer in army fatigues (which he had worn while engaged in “combat adventure sports”). One name that popped up subsequently was that of IRM, where Dwyer had worked until last year, a few months before he first headed to Bolivia for what he told his family was a three-month training course linked to his work in the security industry. However, by that time he is said to have ceased working for IRM and is said to have paid for his own flight to Bolivia.

IRM was set up by Jim Farrell, a former Regimental Sergeant Major with the Irish Army Ranger Wing, “specialising in anti-terrorist intervention”, who owns 35% of the company, with chief executive Terry Downes (formerly of TNT) holding the balance. The operating company behind IRM is Business Mobile Security Services Ltd, which has not been profitable recently. 2007 showed a loss of over €170,000, although the bottom line may have been boosted by IRM’s contract to provide security to the Shell compound in Co Mayo. Coincidentally, last summer Bolivian president Evo Morales nationalised the country’s main gas pipeline company, which had been controlled by Shell.

Anyone who happened across the IRM website up to the start of this week would have been informed of the companies various “customised security solutions”, and something called “special services”. These included “international armed and unarmed security”. Coincidentally. no sooner had The Irish Times referred to Dwyer’s work for IRM than the security company’s website was taken offline to be “updated'” and the references to “special services” and “international armed and unarmed security” were removed before access to the site was again prohibited. Goldhawk was anxious to get details of this “international armed and unarmed” activity from IRM but the company failed to return his call.

IRM has been used by Fianna Fail for its ard fheiseanna [main government party’s national conventions] over the last few years and clearly the company has good connections in establishment circles, security and political. But IRM has also been involved in the security for Shell’s operations in Mayo and has provoked a rash of complaints from Shell-to-Sea protesters and locals for alleged non-compliance with regulations of the Private Security Authority (PSA).

Individual security personnel are obliged to wear identifying numbers and John Monaghan, a spokesperson for the locally based and moderate Pobal Chill Chomain, has lodged several complaints with the gardai’ about this and other matters. Monaghan says he has been assaulted twice by IRM employees and there have been other complaints about the company’s heavy-handed activities surrounding the protests.

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