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Press Release: Shell to Sea slam Green Minister's hypocrisy

Press release - Issued by Dublin Shell to Sea
Friday, 23rd July 2010
Poolbeg Incinerator deal to be renegotiated - Shell to Sea slam Green Minister's hypocrisy

Dublin Shell to Sea has accused Minister John Gormley of “blatant hypocrisy and cute-hoorism” over his approach to the Poolbeg incinerator located in the Minister's Dublin South East and Shell’s proposed inland gas refinery in Co Mayo.

John Gormley pictured behind Willie Corduff & Vincent McGrath the day after they were released from jail.

The campaign was reacting to news that Covanta, the company contracted to run the stalled Poolbeg incinerator in Dublin, has threatened legal action against the State if the project is shelved.

Spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins said: “In the Dublin South East constituency, where votes matter to him, Minister Gormley presents himself an ‘Environmental Super-Hero’ willing to slay corporate giants in the face of threats of legal action and multiple jobs losses.”

She continued, “In Co. Mayo the Green Minister has bowed before Shell and just this month he granted Shell permission to drill 80 boreholes in the Special Protection Area of Sruth Fada Conn estuary, under which Shell proposes to build a tunnel that will hold the dangerous pipeline containing the high pressure raw gas from the Corrib field. [1]

Commenting on the government's continued refusal to renegotiate the giveaway of Irish oil and gas [2], Caoimhe Kerins added, “Minster Gormley is prepared to scrap an incinerator plan leading to a legal battle, but yet refuses to renegotiate the fiscal terms surrounding our large oil and gas resources, which would not lead to litigation, despite repeated false government assertions to the contrary, and could only in fact lead to significant revenue for the state. In the run up to yet another difficult budget, it appears he is only interested in protecting his personal votes as opposed to what would benefit the people of Ireland.”

Highlighting Minister Gormley’s hypocrisy, Caoimhe Kerins continued, “It is clear that votes and not principles are what matter most to the Green Party. This is surely the type of ‘cute hoor’ parish pump style politics that John Gormley and the Green Party assured us they would obliterate from the Irish political landscape once they entered government.”

In conclusion, Caoimhe Kerins called on the Minister to show the same determination when dealing with Shell, “it is long past time that Minister Gormley rediscovered his environmental principles when dealing with Shell in Mayo.”


1. Sruth Fada Conn Estuary is part of the Broadhaven Bay Special Area of Conservation and is home to an array of marine habitat including otters and Atlantic salmon. It is an important breeding ground for dolphins, and attracts several species of bird including brent geese and sand martins. In addition, the estuary provides a vital resource for the local fishing industry and is central to the recreational life of the local community.

2. The largest round of oil and gas exploration licences in the history of the state has just been announced by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR). This process opens up Ireland’s entire Atlantic seabed for exploration at terms almost unchanged from those of the controversial Corrib Gas field, which Shell to Sea calls “The Great Oil and Gas Giveaway”. The DCENR estimates that there are 10 billion barrels of oil equivalent in the Rockall and Porcupine Basins off the west coast. Based on the average price of a barrel of oil for June 2010 at $75.34 or €59.61, this works out at a value of €596 billion. This does not take account of further oil and gas reserves off Ireland’s east and south coasts or inland.
3. 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 and safety 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.


Caoimhe Kerins, Dublin Shell to Sea Spokesperson.