Last week Frontline, a prominent Human Rights organisation released a report entitled ‘Breakdown in Trust: A Report on the Corrib gas dispute’. The report, compiled by barrister Brian Barrington, is a damning indictment of human rights abuses that have been suffered by campaigners against Shell over the last four years, and outlines a comprehensive list of recommendations to attempt to improve the situation. The strongest theme which struck this observer upon reading the report was that of the overzealous use of force against protesters by the Gardai and IRMS (security for Shell), and then a very conscious and systematic process of attempting to cover this up through false statements to the media and the compiler of the report. Does this sound like an exaggeration in the over-active imagination of a protester? Read the following, or indeed the original report, and make up your mind then.
"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”