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Alan Shatter rejects Corrib policing probe

Gordon Deegan - Irish Examiner

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has rejected fresh calls for an independent inquiry into the Garda policing operation of the €3.4bn Shell Corrib gas project in north Co Mayo.

Last week, South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday called for an “urgent and comprehensive” independent inquiry into the policing of the Corrib gas project.

They were among a group of signatories supporting the call by peace and justice group Afri.

However, in written Dáil responses to questions by Independent TDs Maureen O’Sullivan and Finian McGrath, Mr Shatter said: “I do not see a necessity for an independent inquiry into the policing operation in north Co Mayo.”

He said the total cost of policing protests against the Shell Corrib plan “has now reached in excess of €16m”.

Mr Shatter said that, from 2011 to 2013, 38 defendants were brought before courts for public order offences, criminal damage and assault on gardaí.

He said protest activity “has necessitated the temporary redeployment of large numbers of gardaí.

“While the Garda role in policing the Corrib protests has given rise to a number of complaints being made to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission, it should be borne in mind that the majority of these were either found to be inadmissible or not to disclose wrongdoing on the part of the members of the force complained about.”

The first gas is expected to flow from the field in the middle of next year.

Posted Date: 
4 April 2014