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Shell to Sea thanks artists for public support during Feile Iorrais 2007

Shell To Sea would like to thank all the artists who expressed their public support for our community during the recent Feile Iorrais. Unfortunately the festival was overshadowed by controversy surrounding Shell's sponsorship of the events.We regret that the performance of well-known Galway poet Rita Ann Higgins was marred by the antics of a small minority of pro-Shell supporters, who continuously disrupted her readings by persistent heckling and insulting remarks. This is clearly unacceptable behaviour and is not representative of the local community. However, while Shell to Sea recognises the right of any company to offer funding and sponsorship we believe that the ongoing controversy surrounding Feile Iorrais highlights the need for transparency and openness regarding Shell's funding of local groups.In the interests of openness we call on Shell to state publicly the projects they have funded in North Mayo over the past five years, and also to disclose any other donations made by the company in the area. We feel that such a public disclosure would help to allay suspicions that Shell is operating a slush fund in order to curry favour and elicit support for the proposed Corrib scheme. The public perception that the Corrib gas project is being progressed surreptitiously and in the absence of community consent can only lead to increased suspicion and misunderstanding and cause further tensions in an already divided community.ENDFor comment or verification call John Monaghan on +353 86 3123439or Vincent McGrath on +353 87 7557244

Posted Date: 
13 August 2007 - 12:09am