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Garda watchdog interviews OSSL about booze claims

Áine Ryan - Mayo News

GÁRDA watchdog investigators have interviewed the former Shell contractor who claims his company, OSSL, supplied three loads of booze to Belmullet GárdaStation in 2005, 2006 and 2007, The Mayo News understands. The interview with co-owners Des Kane and Neil Rooney, which was held earlier this month, is part of the ongoing investigation into the allegations that have been rejected by Shell E&P Ireland.
Coincidentally, Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter revealed in the Dáil that the cost of policing the Corrib Gas project had now reached €16 million.
“This does not include the significant cost of the basic salaries of the members who have performed duties at the Corrib gas project, as these arise in the normal course of their duties,” Minister Shatter said.
He was speaking in response to questions raised by Independent TD, Mick Wallace, who, along with Deputy Clare Daly,  recently attended a Shell to Sea event in Erris, called The People’s Forum. Minister Shatter rejected claims by Deputy Wallace that he had been ‘weak and bordering on cowardly’ in holding gardaí to account in their policies and procedures’.    
“Where there are issues that need to be dealt with they will be addressed, but unlike the deputy, I do not labour under the illusion that the gardaí as a group do no public good,” Mr Shatter said. He observed that he expected ‘members of An Gárda Síochána to behave appropriately and to do their duty without fear or favour’.
During question time Mr Wallace raised the subject of the general practises, policies and procedures of An Gárda Síochána regarding the controversial Corrib gas project.
He said 111 complaints were made against gardaí in 2007 and 2008 in relation to Corrib gas but no charges were brought.
Mr Wallace said: “It is clear there is a systemic problem in terms of Gárdapolicy and procedure.”
He called on  the minister to order a Gárda Síochána Ombudsman Commission investigation under Section 106 of the Gárda Síochána Act into issues that have been repeatedly aired by some locals and campaigners about the policing of Corrib gas.
Responding, Mr Shatter said the Garda’s role in relation to Corrib was to maintain law and order, but that protesters had disrupted and sabotaged the development and damaged property.
“Such action cannot be tolerated and the Gárda presence is there to prevent it,” Mr Shatter said.

Posted Date: 
24 December 2013