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Making no apologies for Corrib ‘debacle’

Liamy McNally - Mayo News

Last week my alternate column colleague, Fr Kevin Hegarty, was critical of my article on the Corrib gas project.  He singled out the use of the word ‘debacle’ in the headline.  I would like to bring to his notice that the headline ‘Corrib Debacle Continues’ was inserted at the sub-editing stage.  My headline was ‘Cavalier Corrib Marches On.’  I might add that the use of the word ‘debacle’ in the headline is something I wholly agree with.  I used the word in the body of the article to describe the ‘recent tunnelling convoy debacle.’  I make no apology for its use.

I made two phone calls to Shell offices in Mayo and Dublin the previous week for a comment on the cross-country convoy.  I was not afforded the good manners of a reply to either call.  Fr Kevin, acting I presume as an apologist for Shell in his column, is, perhaps, their response, I do not know. 

Fr Kevin described how good Shell is for the county and listed various support programmes that it has instituted for north Mayo.  The trans-national company has done all of that but only after it and statutory bodies were challenged every step of the way by local people who questioned their motives in the area. He admitted that he is a member of Shell’s Third Level Scholarship Programme.  How many people from the parish most affected by Shell’s work are on any of these committees?  How many of the people whose lives have been and are being continuously disrupted by Shell and their private security firm are benefiting from these schemes? 

Posted Date: 
21 August 2012

Exclusive interviews with Al-Jazeera on Shell’s security spending in Nigeria.

ben - Platform

On 20 August, Al-Jazeera interviewed Platform researcher Ben Amunwa about the leaked data that revealed Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in Nigeria.

Posted Date: 
21 August 2012

News release: New evidence of Shell's covert surveillance emerges

News Release - Issued by Shell to Sea - Thursday, 16th August, 2012


-- Scans of two IRMS notebooks sent to Shell to Sea --

This week Shell to Sea received further evidence of the surveillance operation that has been mounted by private security firm IRMS against campaigners opposed to the Corrib Gas project. The evidence consists of scans of pages from two IRMS notebooks that contain notes taken by IRMS personnel between April and June 2010. These scans of the notebooks can be viewed here:

Among the notes made was one which stated "VU Covert Camera Not in Box I-RMS 10" and also how the security went on the 5th June 2010 (while a gathering was taking place at Rossport Solidarity Camp) to “gather intel” and to take “Pics and names if possible”. The names of three campaigners are noted in one of the books.

Corrib debacle continues

Liamy Mc Nally, The Mayo News, 7th August 2012

Last Week people travelled a 100 mile round trip from North Mayo to Áras  an Chontae in Castlebar, by appointment, to view transport permits for the Corrib gas tunnelling convoy that travelled the country before  becoming stuck on the Glenamoy crossroads. Arriving at Mayo County Council they were informed that the permit would not be available until Tuesday (today).

When people with power in Mayo treat citizens, whom they have a duty to serve, in this way, they also do a disservice to their council colleagues who are committed public servants. This treatment is downright bad manners and promotes the power of authority over the power of service. What is to be gained from such treatment? Would a Shell executive or a Garda be treated in the same way? Why were local people treated so?

Posted Date: 
13 August 2012

Public should expect the unexpected in the never-ending Corrib farce

James Laffey - Editorial Western People

Ten years ago this summer An Bord Pleanála issued a preliminary judgement on the Corrib gas project.  In a letter to the then developers, Enterprise Energy Ireland (later Shell E&P Ireland), the planning appeals board claimed that the proposed terminal at Ballinaboy in North Mayo might be prejudicial to the health and safety of local residents and urged the applicant to investigate alternative locations.  Among the possible sites mooted was the then vacant Asahi plant on the outskirts of Killala.

A few weeks after receiving the letter from An Bord Pleanála, Shell E&P Ireland engaged in excavation work at Glengad Beach, the proposed site  of the pipeline landfall.  Later that summer, this newspaper published remarks from Fianna Fáil Junior Minister Frank Fahey who claimed that a failure to grant planning permission for the Ballinaboy terminal would be "a most detrimental blow to the economic development of the north-west and Co Mayo in particular".

A year earlier, Fahey, in his capacity as Minister for Marine and Natural Resources, had contacted Mayo Co Council to insist he be informed of the local authority's decision on the Corrib project before it was made public.  Many people perceived the minister as exercising undue influence on a planning process that was supposed to be independent.

Posted Date: 
9 August 2012
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