"This is one of the most important stories of it's kind in Europe."
Printed below is a leaked email to a Shell EP Ireland manager, Mr Brian Foley, sent by a thoroughly disenchanted local supplier to the Corrib Gas Project in Ireland, an enterprise dogged by controversy.
This includes several months imprisonment of local landowners, the Rossport Five and a hunger-strike by another jailed campaigner, the retired school principal, Maura Harrington, the current spokesperson for the Shell to Sea campaign.
Two sources have confirmed the authenticity of the email, which makes serious allegations that seem to have drawn several Shell officials, mangers and executives into the story, including the Chief Executive Officer of Shell EP Ireland, Mr Michael Crothers.
Brian Foley of Shell
Early today I sent a related email to our designated contact at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Mr Michiel Brandjes, Company Secretary & General Counsel Corporate. That self-explanatory email is also printed below.
The supplier in question, OSSL, subsequently sent an email to Mr Crothers and to Shell CEO Peter Voser, after becoming aware of my email to Mr Brandjes.
Some very shady dealings involving several parties have allegedly taken place. It is alleged that gifts were handed out to buy influence and that records were falsified to cover-up what was going on. It is also alleged that Shell has made threats in an attempt to keep a lid on this potentially explosive story, news of which is likely to confirm already widely held suspicions.
I have no doubt that further information will emerge.
Under the circumstances, I will be bringing this matter to the attention of the Irish Police, who have already investigated alleged death threats made against Shell insiders who have supplied me with numerous Shell Corrib Project internal emails published on this website.
LEAKED EMAIL SENT TO SHELL 23 AUGUST 2012
From: OSSL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 23 August 2012 10:45:02 GMT+01:00
Subject: Your instructions to OSSL for the record .a sinister twist
For the attention of Mr Brian Foley Contracts Manager Shell Corrib Gas Project ,
Leeson Street Dublin , and Bellanaboy Site Erris County Mayo .
Dear Mr Foley ,
In March 2012 at a meeting in Shell head office in London in the presence of Mr Michael Crothers CEO Shell E&P Ireland Julia Busby Head of Legal Shell and Frances van Dam of Shells business integrity department BID , I was informed by Miss van Dam that when asked by her for your confirmation that you had used OSSL to make payments of cash and gifts to various parties in Erris and beyond you declared that you had no such knowledge of the numerous transactions that had taken place .
Can you imagine the surprise and shock on hearing this declaration by you when you know fine well you had on occasions called to our business premises in person and in the presence of three witnesses (some times four ) and gave instructions regarding the purchase of various items to be gifted to local householders with a view to advancing your project in a particularly difficult period of your construction program , these transactions were later “buried” by your Mr Conner Byrne of Shell in a manner such as to disguise the nature of the purchase and the recipient ,to that end he (Mr Byrne ) demanded that the invoices to cover the transactions be falsified and diverted to Roadbridge ( a Corrib contractor ) so as to avoid any connection with Shell directly .whilst we did not agree with this route for reimbursement we were given no alternative .
Whilst I can only imagine that your inexplicable denial of what you knew to be the facts in this matter is brought on by a need for self preservation completely ignoring the enormous consequence for me and my family which you have just witnessed , it is clear that had you come clean to Mr Crothers then this matter could have been resolved with the minimum of pain some thing you might want to reflect on .
You will recall that you attended a meeting on this matter with Shell Corrib Financial Director Ann Hamilton in Lesson Street some time ago at which all these Disguised favours were openly discussed including the cash payments to security Guards at which you spoke at length on indicating how that should have been hidden , Ann Hamilton disagreed on that matter .i mention this meeting in particular (others took place ) because you were very concerned and genuinely worried about exposure of this covert payments scenario ,how you went from that position to total denial is beyond me .
We (OSSL) have in the coarse of recent meetings learned in the presence of our legal people that OSSL suffered a very sinister blow in so far as our cooperation with SHELL in accommodating your requests has lead to our removal from the Corrib Gas Project a move on Shells that has been described as immoral by Mr Crothers at a recent meeting in the Burlington Hotel in Dublin .
Do you recall that in meeting in the Broadhaven Hotel chaired by your goodself in July 2010
We again discussed payments of invoices that had been diverted to Roadbridge in a disguised Manner that hid the fact that the content was actually televisions and other household goods for Project cooperators Mrs Noone at Glengad and that other valued cooperator Mr Eamon Sweeney
Also from Glengad landfall site , Shell insisted that these invoices be transformed into safety wear from televisions and cookers and that that was the only way we would be reimbursed ,Brian Foley instructed Roadbridge to pay the invoices in their disguised state and Roadbridge complied.
It would be fair to ask you how you could chair such a meeting instruct in the manner you did And then cop a plea of “I know nothing” at polar opposite with the facts.
Mr Crothers had great difficulty understanding such a bold contradiction when he learned of the Broadhaven Meeting .
Miss Van Dam had details and a copy of the Shell falsified invoice made out to Roadbridge but was a loss to explain why she had accepted your declaration of no knowledge re disguised invoices whilst holding contradictory evidence in her hand .
Mr Foley I would suggest to you I that you are fully aware that OSSL cooperated with Shell in a joint aim to delivering a successful CORRIB GAS DEVELOPMENT you witnessed a small local company bending over backwards to accommodate SHELLS ever wish however you have stood by and watched decent people suffer for their compliance with you requests .
Mr Conner Byrne Of Shell has assured us at OSSL that disclosure of any of this aforementioned Activity will result in OSSL never working in the oil and Gas industry again .
Looks like he’s right
Shame on you
Three members of OSSL
Des Neil Amanda
Footnote Neil Rooney whom I have observed over the last number of years going a long way out of his road to assist you and many of your colleagues in a personal capacity and for no reward was denied a simple reference by project management that would have assisted him in obtaining another job …….eaten bread is soon forgotten !!!!
JOHN DONOVAN EMAIL TO MICHIEL BRANDJES, ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC SENT 10 Sept 2012 @8.43am
From: John Donovan <email@example.com>
Subject: Shell Corrib Gas Project Allegations of Corruption
Date: 10 September 2012 08:43:45 GMT+01:00
Cc: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Dear Mr Brandjes
Printed below is a self-explanatory email received today.
If you wish to investigate this matter kindly let me know by 3pm UK time today. If I receive no response by then, I will assume that the email is authentic and that this is another one of those occasions where Shell does not wish to comment on the allegations being made. Readers will then be able to draw their own conclusions.
If, however, you do wish to investigate, then we will not publish anything on this matter until you have had a reasonable time to establish the facts. Just let me know by 3pm UK time that you do intend to investigate before responding further.
Any response will, as normal, be published in full, unedited by us.