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Shell’s contractor delivered three loads of booze to gardaiâ

In an attempt to improve relations, Shell recruited John Egan, a former BBC journalist and Mayo native, in late 2005.  James Laffey, the editor of The Western People, has confirmed that Egan sent him six bottles of wine before Christmas 2005 but that he returned them.

The Sunday Times

Times Website Headline: Shell’s contractor delivered three loads of booze to gardaiâ

Newspaper headline: Fresh claims against Shell in alcohol row

Published 18 August 2013 Ireland

By Aine Ryan

A contractor in a dispute with Shell over a delivery of a large consignment of alcohol to Belmullet garda station before Christmas 2007 claims that the oil giant also paid it to deliver liquor loads to the station in 2005 and 2006.

OSSL, a contractor on the Corrib gas project which Shell allegedly hired to make the deliveries, claims “the same pattern” occurred in 2005 and 2006, but “the delivery on both these occasions was modest”.

A senior garda in Mayo has been appointed to conduct a fresh examination of claims that gardai were given large quantities of alcohol by Shell. Previous inquiries by gardai “found no evidence”.

OSSL says it is owed over €43,000 (£36,700) by Shell for the transportation of €29,500 worth of alcohol from Northern Ireland to Co Mayo in December 2007.

The company alleges most of the alcohol was received by senior gardai. Shell said it had carried out an internal investigation and found no evidence to support such claims. It said a dispute arose after it terminated OSSL’s services in 2010.

OSSL claims its services included providing “a tennis court, cookers, television sets, agricultural equipment, school fees, home improvements, garden centre visits and forestry equipment” for the local community.

These gifts were delivered when Shell’s comb gas project controversy was at its height.

In late 2006, hundreds of gardai were deployed to manage daily protests. Violent clashes became common at the Shell project site at Bellanaboy, in northwest Mayo.

In an attempt to improve relations, Shell recruited John Egan, a former BBC journalist and Mayo native, in late 2005.  James Laffey, the editor of The Western People, has confirmed that Egan sent him six bottles of wine before Christmas 2005 but that he returned them.

In an email sent in September 2012, the OSSL co-owner Desmond Kane states: “Let me repeat the 2005 alcohol is paid in part, we have no further claim on the outstanding balance. The same applies to 2006. 2007 delivery is uninvoiced we waited for your instructions re the burial of this matter, such instruction never came despite many promises. Please pay this outstanding invoice now to bring the matter to a close.”

Shell said that a month earlier, on August 2, 2012, OSSL had signed a final settlement of all claims and contractual matters in the presence of its legal advisers. It said last week that a representative had met Kane in early June 2013. “No new information was provided by Mr Kane and (Shell) remains satisfied the contractual dispute between the companies has been closed,” it said.

royaldutchshellplc.com and its also non-profit 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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