Shell welcomes inquiry into claims of alcohol delivery to gardaí
Corrib developer satisfied ‘no evidence has been found’ over alleged gift to Garda
Shell E&P Ireland says it welcomes the Garda Síochána’s examination of a contractor’s allegations that large quantities of alcohol were delivered on its behalf to Belmullet Garda station in 2007.
The lead Corrib gas project developer was responding to yesterday’s Irish Times report that the Garda appointed a senior officer over a month ago to examine the claims made by contractor OSSL.
The “examination” by Supt Thomas Murphy of Swinford Garda station was initiated subsequent to inquiries already conducted by the Garda into allegations that “alcohol was distributed to members of An Garda Síochána on behalf of Shell E&P”.
The Garda had said at the weekend it “found no evidence” to back up the allegations made to the district officer at Belmullet Garda station on December 7th, 2011. However, it confirmed to this newspaper on Monday a new examination had been initiated.
Claim drinks worth €35,000
Last Sunday’s Observer newspaper reported the deliveries on Shell’s behalf by OSSL included a drinks consignment worth €35,000 to Belmullet Garda station in December 2007.
This was six months after one of the most fractious Corrib gas protests, in which a number of people were injured at Pollathomas pier. It led to a Garda Ombudsman investigation and recommendation – not acted upon to date – that a senior officer handling the protest be disciplined.
Shell E&P Ireland (Sepil) said in a statement yesterday that OSSL’s “allegations” were “first raised in the context of a contractual dispute in 2010 following the termination of OSSL’s original contract to supply subcontracting services during the construction of the Corrib gas terminal in Co Mayo”.
The company said “invoices for alleged alcohol deliveries in 2007 were not generated by OSSL until August 24th, 2012, following the settlement of the contractual dispute earlier the same month”.
“To date, OSSL have not been able to supply receipts or any form of written evidence to support their claims,” the company said, and it was “satisfied that OSSL was treated fairly as a contractor on the Corrib gas project”.
“Furthermore, Sepil is satisfied that the allegations made by OSSL have been investigated and no evidence has been found to substantiate them,” the company said. “We hope An Garda Síochána’s involvement will bring this matter to an end.”
However, Mr Kane has claimed that Shell E&P destroyed evidence which supports the allegations. He told The Irish Times that Shell E&P always requested receipts for deliveries and “favours”.