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Shell Sponsored Corruption of the Garda

John Donovan -

As previous agreed, I am sending two of my Investigators (Rody Butler and Sivan Govinder) to London on the 10th December 2013 to interview you at the Irish Embassy.  Further details will follow closer to the date. We are making the booking today for them to travel to London and cannot be changed.

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Shell Sponsored Corruption of the Garda

I last contacted you in May regarding serious allegations made by Shell’s “Mr Fixit” contractor in Ireland, OSSL.

At that time the Garda had already carried out an investigation of the allegations.

Since then, a second investigation has been carried out, this time a so-called “independent” investigation by a senior Garda officer, Supt. Thomas Murphy.

As a result of his investigation, a third investigation is currently under way, on this occasion by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission.

Astonishingly, thus far, as far as I am aware, no statements have ever been obtained from Garda officers who have been publicly named in connection with the allegations.

In an email to OSSL on 19 November, Johan Groenewald, the senior investigating officer from the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission promised a “full and thorough investigation”.

In this connection, he is arranging for Desmond Kane of OSSL to be interviewed in the Irish Embassy in London by two investigators.

However,  there is no expressed intention of obtaining statements from the relevant Garda officers. A copy of his email is printed below.

Based on contact with Johan Groenewald by email and phone, OSSL are under the impression that no such statements will be obtained and rightly or wrongly, consequently have doubts that the third investigation is anything more than a further instalment in a long-running cover-up of the truth.

How on earth could there a “full and thorough investigation” if statements are only obtained from OSSL and not the accused Garda officers, nor the various key individuals involved at Shell?

Why has this issue been ducked for over a year?

Only one Shell manager, Conner Byrne, appears to have been interviewed.

OSSL directors Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney have provided signed written statements and are well aware of the potential penalty for committing perjury.

It is also important to note that thus far, no one has said that any letters or emails supplied by OSSL are anything other than authentic. The OSSL invoice to Shell for a major consignment of the alcohol may be flawed and raised years late, but Shell has described it as “disputed”, not fake.

There have been some remarkable developments since I last contacted you.


I facilitated a direct discussion in The Hague between Desmond Kane and Neil Rooney representing OSSL and Mr Peter Voser, the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Cornered, Mr Voser agreed to intervene on a basis requested by OSSL. Iain Middleton, a senior Shell executive was asked by Mr Voser to meet with OSSL in Dublin with the objective of resolving the dispute i.e. the claim by OSSL that Shell still owes money for alcolcol OSSL purchased and delivered to the Garda on Shell’s behalf. I understand that the Chief Executive of Shell E&P Ireland, Mr Michael Crothers was also at the meeting in Dublin.

Why would Shell have a further meeting in an attempt to resolve outstanding issues with OSSL, if OSSL claims were based on events that never happened?

If OSSL is trying to blackmail Shell in some way, why has Shell not insisted on appropriate police action being taken against OSSL?

Shell has itself conducted two internal investigations, but refuses to let anyone, including investigative journalists,  have even a glimpse of the information/evidence that was assembled. What are they trying to hide? One of Shell’s core business principles is claimed to be transparency. For some reason it does not apply to this matter.

Will Johan Groenewald demand full access to the highly relevant information collected by Shell? The information all relates to matters currently being investigated by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission.


In August The Observer newspaper published a whole page article by the highly respected investigative journalist Ed Vulliamy under the headline: “Strange tale of Shell’s pipeline battle, the Gardaí and £30,000 of booze“.

The article sets out the allegations, confirms my involvement, and the fact that Mr Voser ordered a further inquiry, “a move echoed by the Garda”.

The extraordinary story was picked up by The Sunday Times, The Irish Times, plus numerous other Irish newspapers and radio and TV broadcasters.


As a result of the publicity it has emerged that in an effort to buy influence, Shell Ireland routinely gave out free alcohol as Christmas gifts. Two journalists have confirmed this. One, Mr James Laffey, Editor of The Western People, returned a box of free wine. Liamy McNally, a former radio broadcaster has confirmed that he witnessed Shell sending free alcohol to Mid-West radio as a festive gift when he worked at the station. I have confidential information that this practice of plying the Irish news media with free booze was widespread. Ask around.

All of the alcoholic largesse had the purpose of lubricating the progress of a trouble-plagued project.

The goodwill of the Garda was perhaps even more important than pleasing the news media and I feel sure Irish cops are equally receptive to some Christmas cheer. 


Shell has carried out two internal investigations. The Garda had carried out two internal investigations. The most recent by Supt Thomas Murphy, with whom I have corresponded, ended only weeks ago.

Astonishingly, despite the fact that we are now in the fifth investigation of the OSSL allegations, apparently no one has ever requested a statement from any of the Garda officers publicly named in connection with these matters.

It is relevant to note that none of these individuals have threatened or taken legal action against OSSL, or any party, including me, that has publicly identified them in connection with this scandal.

No threats or legal action either from publicly named Shell executives/managers/employees?

Why would people who received emails from OSSL (sometimes hundreds of them) mentioning the alcohol for the Garda, ignore what was being said, if it was all fiction?

No one has taken action against OSSL for harassment despite the email bombardment.

Why has the Garda not arrested OSSL for wasting police time if it is all fiction?

Why would there be three Garda instigated investigations if the Garda officers named as being involved had simply said it was all fictitious?

OSSL directors could be forgiven if they conclude that this is a case of one whitewash after another.

After all of the time and money that has been spent by numerous people inside the Irish government, the Garda and Royal Dutch Shell, investigating these matters, the outcome should surely be either a vindication of OSSL, or charges as appropriate brought against OSSL directors potentially for perjury, forgery, harassment and wasting police time.

Email to OSSL from Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission: 19 NOVEMBER 2013 

From: Johan Groenewald <>
Date: 19 November 2013 11:36:36 GMT
Subject: RE: Second request …  Garda /Shell /OSSL police alcohol gifting 2007

Dear Mr. Kane,

I refer to my last telephone conversation with you.

It was explained to you that the Investigating Garda Officer did not interview any other witnesses except for Mr. Rooney, Mr, Byrne and yourself.  Even if there were other statements, I was not going to rely on it as best evidence.

This is now a GSOC investigation and it is my intention to do a full and thorough investigation.

As previous agreed, I am sending two of my Investigators (Rody Butler and Sivan Govinder) to London on the 10th December 2013 to interview you at the Irish Embassy.  Further details will follow closer to the date.  We are making the booking today for them to travel to London and cannot be changed.

I will make contact with Mr. Rooney shortly to arrange to meet him also on the 10th December 2013 in our jurisdiction.

I am requesting that you bring any evidence available to you to the meeting on the 10th to hand over to my Investigators.

I need any copies of correspondence (e-mails, letters) in relation to this Investigation, copies of the misdescribed invoices for the alcohol, any receipts for the purchase of the alcohol, bank statements that proofs alcohol was purchased, the mobile handset as discussed and a passport photo of yourself for identification purpose.

You can contact me if you wish to discuss further.

Yours sincerely,

Johan Groenewald
Senior Investigating Officer

Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission
IDA Business Park
Ballinalee Road
Co. Longford

Phone:  01 8716728

OSSL EVIDENCE/CORRESPONDENCE FILE (OVER 100 PAGES) INCLUDING THE OSSL INVOICE TO SHELL DATED 24 August 2012. THIS IS ONLY A SMALL PART OF THE INFORMATION HELD BY OSSL.  There are many examples in this file of OSSL mentioning the Garda alcohol issue in correspondence with Shell and other parties, including the Garda, without anyone challenging what they were saying. One example is the OSSL email correspondence with the CEO of Shell EP Ireland, Mr Michael Crothers. Mr Crothers refuted other comments made but did not take issue with the reference to the alcohol supplied to the Garda on Shell’s behalf. 


Please help by asking Johan Groenewald to:

1. Obtain written statements from relevant Garda officers and Shell managers/executives.

2. Obtain the full file of information/evidence assembled by Shell that it has refused to disclose thus far.

All of this information is absolutely essential if this matter is going to be fairly investigated and the truth finally established.

Finally please ask yourself the question, what would be the point of OSSL drawing all of this attention to its activities by the policing authorities for more than a year, unless its allegations are well founded?

His email address:

Yours sincerely

John Donovan

Posted Date: 
22 November 2013