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Gormley branded “a hypocrite” over Aarhus Convention

Press Release: Issued by Shell to Sea – Tuesday 23rd of November 2010

Oil & Gas giveaway continues despite economic meltdown.

Today Shell to Sea criticised Minister for Environment John Gormley on his continued refusal to ratify the Aarhus convention. Although Ireland signed the convention in June 1998, it remains the only country in the EU not to have ratified it, which would provide rights to access to information, public participation in decision making and access to justice.

Shell to Sea spokesperson Terence Conway stated “In November 1998, John Gormley is on record asking questions of the then Minister for Environment of when the Aarhus Convention would be ratified. Twelve years later, John Gormley is the Minister responsible yet he refuses to ratify this convention which was put in place to allow groups like ours access justice. For John Gormley to have demanded the convention be ratified while in opposition and now not bring it into law while in power are the actions of a hypocrite”.

Tomorrow submissions close on a foreshore licence application that Shell lodged with Minister Gormley earlier this year. The licence is required to construct a 5km tunnel through Sruwaddacon Bay - a protected conservation area.

The last deadline for this application on the 30th of August saw over 370 submissions sent in opposing the granting of permission for Shell’s foreshore licence. Since this deadline, however Shell has submitted more information on their proposed work, necessitating another time-period for submissions.

Regarding the foreshore application Maura Harrington stated: “In 2002 Frank Fahey granted Shell a foreshore licence for the Corrib gas project on the eve of his departure from office as Minister for Marine & Natural Resources. Now that the Greens are pulling out of government, the question is whether John Gormley will similarly sign off the destruction of a protected area to facilitate Shell take one of our most  valuable resources from us – our oil and gas.”

Maura Harrington continued: “By the Department of Energy's own estimates there is at least €420 billion of recoverable oil and gas off the west coast alone, yet the scandalous deal given to Shell by Bertie Ahern and Ray Burke still stands - after Cameroon, Ireland has the worst deal for its people in the world.”

Maura Harrington continued: “How can the government continue this resource giveaway with one hand while indebting the country to the tune of €100 billion with the other? We are essentially borrowing money to buy back our own oil & gas”.





For further information or verification please contact:
Terence Conway
Maura Harrington



Shell to Sea is a national campaign with active groups based across Ireland. The Shell to Sea campaign has three main aims. 1) To have the Corrib gas field exploited in a safe way that will not expose the local community in Erris to unnecessary health, safety and environmental risks. 2) To renegotiate the terms of the Great Oil and Gas Giveaway, which sees Ireland’s 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent* off the West Coast go directly to the oil companies, with the Irish State retaining a 0% share, no energy security of supply and only 25% tax on profits against which all costs can be deducted. 3) To seek justice for the human rights abuses suffered by Shell to Sea campaigners due to their opposition to Shell’s proposed inland refinery.