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Gardai not working for us say Shell
CELTIC LEAGUE - PRESS INFORMATIONGARDAI NOT WORKING FOR US SAY SHELLShell Oil have responded to further concerns expressed by the CelticLeague about the harassment and disturbance caused to the communityin north Mayo where Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) are pressingahead with the construction of a refinery.Shell go to some lengths to distance themselves from the jailing ofa more local people from the area who have been involved in the protest.However the perception amongst some in the north Mayo area is thatGardai because of there actions are little better than 'Shell's Cops".Whether or not the statement by Shell that "the Gardai are not workingfor SEPIL" is true what is very clear is that the damage done to Police- Community relations will take years to recover from Shells decisionto seek police cover around its construction sites in the area.The correspondence from Shell to Celtic League General Secretary,Rhisiart Tal-e-bot, is set out below:"10th August 2007Dear Mr Tal-e-botMany thanks for your letter dated July 18th that I received recently.You raise concerns about the recent jailing of a number of peoplefrom Co. Mayo for attacks on members of the Gardai. As you state ShellE&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) was in no way implicated in this caseand it would be therefore inappropriate for us to comment on the incident.I can assure you that the Gardai are not working for SEPIL - theirpresence is required in Co. Mayo to ensure that workers at the site(most of whom are from the local area) can safely access their workplace.It is indeed regrettable that they are required at all. If you haveany further queries regarding the Gardai I would suggest that youdirect them to the Gardai complaints office.You ask what steps SEPIL is taking to build local trust on the area.Over the passed year SEPIL has taken a number of steps to addressthis issue. Most notably SEPIL has agreed to implement all of therecommendations made by an independent mediator last autumn. SEPILhas agreed to move the onshore pipeline route to address ongoing concernsregarding proximity to housing. It wa this concern that the onshorepipeline route was, at 70 metres, too close to housing that causedthe initial concern among some members of the local community. SEPILhas appointed RPS engineers to help facilitate the consultation arounda new route as well as to provide engineering services. Over the pastnumber of months extensive local consultation has taken place includingOpen Days, local workshops and face to face meetings. On June 12 thRPS outlined eight potential corridor routes and is currently seekinglocal comment on these. I enclose some further details on this processfor your information.I would like to assure you that SEPIL is doing all it can to rebuildlocal trust. It is our firm belief that these efforts are succeedingand research that has been carried out both by ourselves and thirdparties shows this. I think that you will find that whilst there arestill differences of opinion the majority of people in the local areaare supportive of the project. There are currently 400 people employedon the site and SEPIL is ensuring that as many people as possibleare from the local area. SEPIL has also recently launched a scholarshipprogramme with local schools and continues to support many local clubsand voluntary organisations.Should you have any further queries, I think it would be best if youspoke with the project office in Ireland, either Terry Nolan, theDeputy Managing Director of the project (based in Mayo), or SusanShannon, the projects External Affairs Advisor (based in Dublin).Regarding your final question on gas flaring in Nigeria, the SPDCjoint venture expects to end continuous flaring there, as planned,during 2009. Achieving this plan depends on funding being securedfrom our joint venture partners in Nigeria and on communities allowingus free and safe access to our protection sites.Thank you for your interest in Shell, I hope that I have been ableto answer your queries sufficiently.Kind regardsMike WilkinsonVice President, Sustainable DevelopmentCc: terry Nolan, Susan ShannonEnclosures:Community UpdateCorrib Gas UpdatesBellanaboy Bridge Gas Terminal: Environmental Managaement"See also Celtic News earlier items on this subject at: B MoffattDirector of InformationCeltic League21/08/07The Celtic League has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It worksto promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on abroad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlightshuman rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses onsocio-economic issues.TEL (UK)01624 877918 MOBILE (UK)07624 491609Internet site at:

Posted Date: 
15 January 2007 - 9:38am