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New evidence of Shell’s covert surveillance operations

News Release – Issued by Shell to Sea – Thursday, 16th August, 2012


— Scans of two IRMS notebooks sent to Shell to Sea —

This week Shell to Sea received further evidence of the surveillance operation that has been mounted by private security firm IRMS against campaigners opposed to the Corrib Gas project. The evidence consists of scans of pages from two IRMS notebooks that contain notes taken by IRMS personnel between April and June 2010. These scans of the notebooks can be viewed here:

Among the notes made was one which stated “VU Covert Camera Not in Box I-RMS 10” and also how the security went on the 5th June 2010 (while a gathering was taking place at Rossport Solidarity Camp) to “gather intel” and to take “Pics and names if possible”. The names of three campaigners are noted in one of the books.

The notebooks make it clear that IRMS are profiling people in the area and that they are also using covert cameras. In 2008, the parish priest of Kilcommon, Fr Michael Nallen told the Irish Times: “I saw them [the security personnel] with small cameras, running around the security hut. As far as I could see in my mirror they took a photograph and noted my car registration …. This is a form of intimidation and harassment with photographs being taken.”[1]

The emergence of the IRMS notebooks follows on from last week’s disclosure that IRMS is carrying out a highly detailed 24-hour surveillance operation on campaigners against the Corrib Gas Project. Proof of this came to light as an IRMS “situation report” for the 29th June 2012, which listed the movements of the Rossport Solidarity Camp members over a 24-hour period was inadvertently forwarded to an outside email.[2,3] This IRMS report can be viewed here:

Shell to Sea spokesperson Maura Harrrington said: “We now have proof that alongside the obvious overt surveillance, Shell and Statoil, through IRMS, have been carrying out a covert surveillance operation in the area. What we have here is further proof that a private security army is operating within the state. A private company is in control of an immense and undisclosed volume of information on the movements and God knows what else, of people who live and travel in this area.

Glengad resident Eamon Murphy, one of those mentioned in the IRMS notebooks, said: “IRMS has been acting with impunity in the area for over four years now and have been given free reign by the Gardaí and the Private Security Authority. For two days this week IRMS have been over at Glenamoy cross-roads stopping traffic with not a Garda in sight. We have seen time and again Gardaí and indeed Mayo County Council taking orders from IRMS. We are demanding an explanation from Jim Farrell and IRMS, Supt Diskin of Belmullet Garda station and Peter Hynes in Mayo County Council.”[4]

Shell to Sea is asking for anyone with further details of the IRMS surveillance operation to email: [email protected]


For more information contact:  
Maura Harrington:    087 9591474
Terence Conway:     086 0866264!/ShellToSea


Page Scans of the two IRMS Notebooks available here:

IRMS “situation report” for 29th June 2012 from the Aughoose compound available here:

[1] ‘Parish priest’s concerns over Shell security’ – Áine Ryan – Irish Times – 23th July 2008

[2] ‘Rossport protesters under 24-hour surveillance by private security firm’ – Lorna Siggins – Irish Times – 10th August 2012

[3] ‘Corrib security firm “acts responsibly”’ – Lorna Siggins – Irish Times – 11th August 2012

[4] ‘Shell rules in Mayo’ – The Phoenix Magazine – March 2012

The Shell to Sea Campaign has three main aims:
1) That any exploitation of the Corrib gas field be done in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks.
2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted.
3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery.


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