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Irish Times: Controversy over Mayo gas pipeline

FROM OUR JULY 2005 SHELL NEWS ARCHIVE…

Irish Times: Controversy over Mayo gas pipeline

“This giveaway agreement was presided over by a government led by CJ Haughey, and the terms were arranged by the then Minister who dealt with such affairs, Ray Burke. This man has since been investigated and found to have engaged in a mass of corrupt and illegal dealings, and has served a jail term.”

Tuesday July 26, 2005

LETTERS

Madam, – The continuing and unhappy imprisonment of a group of protesters from Co Mayo who seek to have Shell prevented from high-pressure gas pipeline construction draws attention to another matter of enormous importance to the people and economy of this island.

I refer to the agreement, drawn up years back, between the then Haughey government and international oil companies, regulating the sale of prospecting rights, control, development and ensuing profits of the oil and gas resources off our western coast.

This agreement gave the most astonishingly beneficial rights and control to these companies, and ensured that they would never have to pay any royalties on products emanating from oil and gas which might flow from these sites.

In effect, these international giants were made a free present of energy resources of incalculable worth which were – and should still be – the sole beneficial property of this State.

This giveaway agreement was presided over by a government led by CJ Haughey, and the terms were arranged by the then Minister who dealt with such affairs, Ray Burke. This man has since been investigated and found to have engaged in a mass of corrupt and illegal dealings, and has served a jail term. His treatment of the tribunal which uncovered nefarious activities over the years in which he held high governmental offices was deceitful.

His leader of the time has likewise been found to have been corrupt and deceitful, and ongoing tribunals may find further evidence involving others in government at the time who were mixed up in the culture of corruption and deceit in which CJ Haughey and Burke flourished and prospered.

Surely the time is ripe for a public examination of the details and procedures surrounding the drawing-up of the appalling giveaway agreement which effectively made a gift of a huge part of the national wealth of this country. Such an examination, be it by way of tribunal or select Dail committee, should be of the most rigorous kind, and all documentation, cabinet discussions and financial dealings should come under its scrutiny.

The thrust of such investigations must be a total reappraisal of the propriety and constitutional status of this agreement, with a view to rescinding it and redrawing a proper and fairer arrangement with the international oil companies. – Yours, etc,

DAVID GRANT,

Mount Pleasant,

Waterford.

Madam, – Rachel Tubridy want to know (July 21st) whether I’d like a high-pressure gas pipeline run through my garden. The answer is “Yes, please” – provided it meets the appropriate international safety standards and I receive the lucrative compensation being offered to others. – Yours, etc,

TONY ALLWRIGHT,

Killiney,

Co Dublin.

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