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Contemptible Shell Says Irish Supreme Court


John Donovan

The link at the foot of this article is to a judgement released by the Irish Supreme Court earlier today.

It relates to the Shell led Corrib gas project in Ireland, beset by controversy from the outset, including bribery and corruption sponsored by Shell. 

Landowners from Rossport North County Mayo who objected to Shell’s land grab plans and put environmental considerations before personal reward, were jailed at the behest of Shell. They became known as the Rossport Five

One high-minded Rossport landowner, Monica Muller, launched a court action against Shell in October 2007 alleging that Shell had entered her land without her permission.

On 4th September, 2009, a District Court Judge ruled that by its actions, Shell was guilty of contempt of a court decision. 


(a) As I found the acts of ingress on the lands constituted contempt I did not consider it necessary to consider whether or not acquisition of the commonage rights allowed [Shell] to carry out works on the lands. I further held that the actions of ingress onto [Rossport Commonage] have been proved beyond reasonable doubt and were in contempt of my Order of the 14th day of day of November 2007. 

(b) My Order ofthe 141h day ofNovember 2007 was specific in its terms. It prohibits entry by [Shell] until the provisions of [the Act of 1976, as runended] had been complied with. It did not provide any other means of complying with the Order. [Shell] ignored the Order and was guilty of civil contempt.

Following an appeal by Shell, the Irish High Court overturned the District Court decision.  

The Irish Supreme Court has now ruled that Shell was indeed in contempt.


In short, I consider that the Case Stated demonstrates that the District Court judge was correct in finding that Shell was in contempt by being in breach of the 2007 Prohibition Order.

It is ironic that the judgement is published on the same day as an article about Shell’s claimed business principles, pledging honesty, integrity and openness in all of its dealings.

Shell’s actions in Ireland and Nigeria in particular, are totally at odds with these pious pledges, including “zero tolerance on bribery and corruption“.

See Judgement for full details.

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