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Tony O’Reilly Jnr quizzed on BBC’s ‘Today’ programme about Ireland’s bad deal from oil

William Hederman -

 Providence boss repeats usual myths about Irish oil/gas fields 

Tony O'Reilly JnrThe BBC appears to be more clued in to the realities of Ireland’s mismanagement of our oil and gas resources than are many people here in Ireland.

This morning (Wednesday, 10th October 2012) the CEO of Providence Resources, Tony O’Reilly Jnr, was interviewed live on BBC Radio 4’s flagship current affairs programme, ‘Today’, following the company’s announcement that its Barryroe field off Cork will yield 280 million barrels of oil. The presenter quizzed O’Reilly about the bad deal Ireland will get from production of Irish oil. [See link at end of this article to an audio file of the BBC interview] 

He asked O’Reilly how much of the revenue from Barryroe the Irish State was likely to receive, considering the very low tax rate here for oil and gas production. The presenter also asked the Providence boss about the extraordinary fact that, for the purposes of this tax, Providence would be able to deduct 100% of its exploration costs anywhere in Irish waters going back 25 years.

O’Reilly’s response was to trot out the same myths and obfuscation that have been the staple of the Irish oil lobby’s and the Irish government’s defence of Ireland’s dysfunctional licensing regime.

On the tax write-off of exploration costs going back a quarter of a century (remember, that’s exploration anywhere in Irish territory, even if it isn’t related to the field in question), O’Reilly blustered that this was “pretty normal everywhere in the world”. It isn’t normal worldwide.

Posted Date: 
11 October 2012

Idiots at work - Shell TBM truck stuck again!!

Another Shell truck has got stuck.  It is again believed that the truck, which has Dutch registration plates, was delivering parts of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) for Shell. The truck is currently stuck at Briska, between Bangor and Bellacorick.  Yesterday, 2 of the trucks that previously attempted to deliver parts of the cutting head of the TBM to Shell's tunnelling compound, returned to Bellanaboy.  It is expected Shell will again attempt to move the TBM cutting head sections to Aughoose in the coming days.   The truck that is currently stuck is about 50 ft long and has "Convoi exceptionnel" on the front.  It's thought that no-one was injured in the incident.

Posted Date: 
9 October 2012

In Shell Case, Will Supreme Court’s View of Corporate Personhood Mean Liability for Crimes Abroad?

Democracy Now


The Supreme Court opens its 2012-2013 term today with a landmark case to decide whether survivors of human rights violations in foreign countries can bring lawsuits against corporations in U.S. courts. The case centers on a lawsuit that accuses the oil giant Shell’s parent company, Royal Dutch Petroleum, of complicity in the murder and torture of Nigerian activists. Some legal analysts are comparing this case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, to the landmark campaign finance ruling in Citizens United. In 2010, the Supreme Court ruled corporations have broad rights under the First Amendment and can directly fund political campaigns. The court is now being asked to decide if corporations have the same responsibilities as individuals for violations of international law. The court’s ruling will also impact numerous other human rights cases being heard by lower courts. We’re joined in New York by Baher Azmy, the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. [includes rush transcript]

Posted Date: 
4 October 2012

Mary Robinson: ‘Everybody matters’ ...but the people of Erris

Mary - RSC - Indymedia

 - Campaigners highlight Robinson's silence on human rights in County Mayo -

Last night Enda Kenny met with Mary Robinson for an evening soiree in Ballina Arts Centre to launch her new book. The title of her memoir, ‘Everybody Matters’ was a ironic reminder of the silence maintained by Robinson on the human rights abuses associated with Shell’s Corrib Gas project. Since 2002 Shell have been operating less than 35 miles away from her home in Ballina and over that time human rights concerns have been documented by international human rights organisations including Frontline Defenders (“Breakdown of Trust: a Report on the Corrib Gas Dispute


Campaigners from Shell to Sea and Rossport Solidarity Camp travelled to the launch to highlight Robinson’s continuing silence on human rights issues in her home county, but were refused entry to the Arts centre for the event by Gardaí. Ten campaigners held a picket outside the event holding placards which read, ‘What about human rights on your doorstep?’, ‘Mary Robinson – human rights N.I.M.B.Y’, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’, ‘Mary – what about human rights in Mayo?’, and ‘And you used to be so good!!’

Posted Date: 
18 September 2012

Our oil and gas might as well be off the coast of Brazil for all the good it will do us

William Hederman - Irish Daily Mail

 Comment piece by William Hederman published in today’s Irish Daily Mail (10 September 2012)

The dogs in the street now understand that Ireland’s share of revenue from our oil and gas fields is set to be pitifully small, thanks to terms handed down by Ray Burke. It’s no longer just campaigners who want change. In May an Oireachtas committee with a majority of Government TDs issued a report calling for the terms to be radically overhauled.

The oil companies are desperate to maintain the status quo. They defend their corner mainly by portraying our offshore as a lonely wasteland, where exploration is almost non-existent and where finding oil or gas is but a remote possibility. Our “attractive” terms (the world’s most generous to the oil companies) must be maintained until Ireland is a “proven territory”, they insist.

Posted Date: 
14 September 2012
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