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January 2010

Gardai and the Corrib Protests

Vicky Conway - Law Lecturer in Queen’s University & Human Rights in Ireland

This week a rather unusal and unexpected debate has been ongoing in the Irish Times here and here between two retired Gardaí concerning the policing of protests concerning the Corrib gas line.

Storage tank overflows at Shell facility

Andy Cerota -

 DEER PARK, TX (KTRK) — The cold weather is also causing problems for area petrochemical plants. Last night’s freeze had some of the companies keeping close watch.

There was a situation at Shell Deer Park facility. The company said there was never any danger to the surrounding community or the employees who were working at that particular site.

Councils criticised by court over waste report

John Burke - Sunday Business Post

The High Court has severely criticised the four Dublin councils for ‘‘massaging’’ key reports into Dublin’s waste sector to influence the outcome of a review.

The court said that RPS, one of the country’s leading engineering firms, changed a number of draft reports to suit the stance of the councils. The report formed the basis for the councils’ subsequent justification to vary the capital’s waste policy.

‘Slick’ Garda PR operation bounces back in their face


So, the new year starts in the Garda Press Office, what we like to call the Ministry of Truth, now what’ll we get our teeth into first? Well, it’d be great to dispel that persistently bad smell around our policing of the Corrib Gas Project for Shell now, wouldn’t it?

Shell denies suggestions of lay-offs at Bellanaboy site

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

SHELL EP Ireland has denied rumours this week of lay-offs and said it had suspended construction on the Corrib gas terminal in north Mayo only because of the cold weather.

The company said the decision was taken two days ago due to concerns about the safety of workers travelling to and from the site at Bellanaboy.

Gardaí acted with impunity at Corrib site, says ex-garda

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

A FORMER garda and human rights observer has said Garda handling of the Corrib gas project security had been an “anathema to the spirit of community policing”.

Benny McCabe, a former Garda sergeant, was responding yesterday to comments made by the former head of the Garda Mayo division, retired chief superintendent Tony McNamara.

The retired chief superintendent said in an Irish Times interview earlier this week that he believed the force had handled the Corrib gas situation far better than counterparts in Denmark during the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Company advising Shell increases Irish profits to €9 million

Gordon Deegan - Irish Times

THE ENVIRONMENTAL and engineering consultancy firm advising Shell Ireland on the energy giant’s onshore pipeline in Co Mayo increased its Irish operating profits by 28 per cent to €9 million in 2008.

Accounts recently filed by RPS Group Ltd and subsidiaries to the Companies’ Office show that the company increased the size of its business by 4 per cent from €112 million to €117 million to the end of December 2008.

RPS Ltd is part of RPS Plc, which is quoted on the London Stock Exchange.

Pipeline protestors set to take to big screen

Áine Ryan - Mayo News

THE CONTROVERSIAL Corrib gas story and its impact on the lives of five local protestors may be shown at a number of prestigious film festivals in the coming year.
Directed by 30-year-old Risteard Ó Domhnaill, ‘The Pipe’ focusses its lens on a number of leading activists and protestors who have challenged the project, by various means and on varying levels, through protest, the courts and the planning process.

Retired garda defends force's handling of Corrib protests

Lorna Siggins - Irish Times

THE SENIOR garda responsible for policing the Corrib gas project in north Mayo says he believes the force has handled the situation there far better than counterparts in Denmark during the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Tony McNamara, who has just retired as chief superintendent in charge of the Garda Mayo division, also says he believes that lack of adequate dialogue by developers with residents in the early stages of the Corrib gas project caused a “fundamental breakdown in trust”.

Justin Keating - A man who saw socialism as both essential and adaptable to change

Michael D Higgins TD- The Irish Independent

 Justin Keating, the former cabinet minister, TD, senator and member of the European Parliament, who has just passed away, was one of that exceptional group of academics who crossed the bridge to the public world at the end of the 1960s to become active in electoral politics and stand as candidates for the Labour party.