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Shell To Sea suspect their phones are tapped

The Connaught Telegraph
Tuesday March 27, 2007

Tom Kelly
A MAYO Dáil Deputy is at the centre of an alleged telephone tapping controversy involving opponents of the Corrib gas project in north Mayo Dr. Jerry Cowley is seeking an investigation into claims that his ‘phone line has been under garda surveillance for a number of months along with senior figures within the Shell-to-Sea group. The independent TD revealed he was alerted to the alleged undercover operation ‘by a series of unusual coincidences'. He stated: "I am not the only one to hold these fears. People who have taken a particular stand on the Corrib gas dispute approached me on a number of occasions expressing their suspicions. "They are convinced their telephone conversations are being monitored because there is compelling evidence of it happening. "I am genuinely concerned that I am one of the people under surveillance. If it is proven that a member of the Oireachtas is having his ‘phone tapped, it would be a scandal of the highest order." The Mulranny-based representative has formally questioned Tánaiste and Minister for Justice, Mr. Michael McDowell, about his fears. He asked him to outline the number of people in Mayo, and particularly those within the Shell-to-Sea group, who have had surveillance carried out on their telephones ‘taking into account the legislation readily available to do so'. Minister McDowell stated it would be contrary to the public interest to comment on the existence or otherwise of covert garda operational measures and associated details. Dr. Cowley said that the Minister's failure to rule the ‘phone tapping claims compounded his anxiety on the matter. In Dáil Éireann yesterday (Tuesday), Dr. Cowley tabled a series of questions to the Minister asking him to confirm if a number of named people were the subject of secret garda procedures. "I am seeking specific answers to specific questions. If I don't get them in the Dáil, I will have to take my case to another forum," he added.
Copyright:Connaught Telegraph
Gas objectors claim 'phones tapped

Posted Date: 
28 March 2007 - 2:46pm