Corrib Pipeline Protests

There was a shocking figure in yesterday’s Irish Times.  According to figures in Fintan O Toole’s article, the police are spending almost as much of their budget on keeping protesters away from the Shell construction site as they spend in a whole year fighting organised crime in the whole country.

Think about that.  Huge sums of tax money and millions of police hours are being spent policing people  protesting against a private company.

A private company.  People who object to the activities of a private foreign company are being arrested by our police.

How did this happen?

How did it come about that the law was changed so that people could be thrown off their land to let Shell and its partners build their pipeline?  This was probably unconstitutional, but they got away with it, and when the farmers tried to stop their land being taken by this private company, they were jailed.

Ah, you might say.  These farmers are stopping progress.  We need the gas.

To which I’ll reply, indeed we do need the gas.  And why, therefore, are we letting Shell take it, without paying us a cent for it?

Not a single cent.

But at least we have our gas supplies guaranteed, you might point out.

I’m afraid you’d be wrong.  When Shell takes this gas, free, from our shores, it will sell it on the open market where we will compete with the rest of the world to buy it back.

In many ways, it’s a pity these protesters are getting all the headlines, and distracting attention from the real scandal which is the theft of a vital national resource by a private company with the connivance and support of our government and its police force.  A more cynical person might think that the protesters are working on behalf of Shell to provide a smokescreen while it goes about its theft.

How did all this happen?  How did it come about that a private company could not only take our energy supplies but could do so with the full support of the government?

Would you like a hint?

All right then.  I’ll give you two hints.

Ray Burke.  Bertie Ahern.


Previously on Bock:

The Oil Company, The Crooked Politician and the Theft of Ireland’s Energy Resources

18 thoughts on “Corrib Pipeline Protests

  1. Hi Bock!
    I was with you all the way until I reached this paragraph –

    “In many ways, it’s a pity these protesters are getting all the headlines, and distracting attention from the real scandal which is the theft of a vital national resource by a private company with the connivance and support of our government and its police force. A more cynical person might think that the protesters are working on behalf of Shell to provide a smokescreen while it goes about its theft.”

    The protesters are trying to highlight the damage being done by Shell (and the potential damage such action could cause)and the damage left behind by Ahern and Burke : were it not for the protesters the issue itself would not even be making the ‘headlines’ anymore.


  2. Jesus I never considered the possibility that the protesters were in the pocket of Shell and because I’m a jaded cynical fucker, it’s worth a consideration. Have a couple of pals involved, must check around.

    Ray Burke, Bertie Ahern, still feted by the fuckwits who constitute the majority of voters in the lill banana republic of ours. When, oh when, do we get away from the theft of resources and brown fucking envelopes?

    If my kids end up voting for these lowest of low life cunts, well, then I’m guilty of parental dereliction and let the welfare take my children now.

  3. I think its a bit simplistic to just say the gas is being “stolen” Don’t get me wrong, Shell’s mere presence and conduct in Kenya is enough to have them dragged over hot coals for eternity. But the protestors never gave a flying fuck about the “deal” until they realised that most people thought their initial protest the height of “nimby-ism” I mean Maura Harrington is “now” protesting for a better deal for the Irish taxpayer.

    The Corrib project in both its construction and operation will provide jobs, so there’s a crumb of comfort.
    The other crumb is that I doubt whether this will ever happen again.

    But now that I think of it, this is Ireland

  4. Sharon — The protesters are distracting from the real crime. Environmental issues can be solved. Why aren’t people protesting about the corrupt deal Burke did?

    Sniffle — I’d believe anything about this rotten government.

    Rob — The protesters are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter what they believe. The gas is being stolen.

    And by the way, jobs my arse.

  5. Hi again , Bock !
    I think the protesters are highlighting the real crime , not distracting from it . Environmental damage can perhaps be lessened , if ‘the powers that be’ can be forced to act in time but in this instance (and that of Tara) I don’t believe that has happened or is going to happen . And both this Shell case and Tara help expose how corrupt certain politicians are or were, including Ray Burke .

  6. Great post Bock!

    Shame (as Sniffle&Cry pointed out) that FF are still as good as guaranteed their 35% to 40% at the polls.

    What exactly would an Irish politician have to do in order to find themselves disgraced?

    March down O’Connell St. wearing an orange sash, bashing seven shades of shite out of a lambeg drum and singing “The Sash My Father Wore”?

    Give the pope a wedgie?

    Declare a preference for King Crisps over Tayto?

  7. I think im with sniffle and you bock on this one. Experience has taught us that that the most cynical answer is usually the right one. Shell probably but the explosive device there too

  8. Al —

    Nobody said they were working with Shell, but if I were Shell’s project manager, I think I’d be secretly very pleased to see these protests continue.

    It gives Shell the high moral ground and nobody is asking awkward questions about how they managed to get their hands on the gas without paying for it.

  9. Maybe not if you were a project manager.

    If there were no protestors, I think the whole issue would have been swept under the carpet and it would have been built before anyone realised. I’m glad there are people protesting. I’m also glad that you post on the issue.

  10. you mention police hours bock, but i was at glengad the evening the solitaire pulled into broadhaven – there were navy and army ships as well… (btw- did anyone ask YOU if you would like your taxes to subsidise ‘protecting’ a ship belonging to a private company from outside ireland doing work for a company that basically is stealing our natural resources? no… they didn’t ask me either…)

    as for the jobs – yes there are a lot of people employed there at the moment, this is true – but once the pipeline is in place the processing plant at ballinaboy will only employ about 70 people, not all of these full time and these will be shell employees, not local contractors.

    i’m not a protestor by the way, my fella’s family live about 1km from the ballinaboy site. if you’ve never been there you should take a trip up – no one will ever truly understand why what shell are doing is SO wrong until they see the beauty of the place. i didn’t.

  11. Eva —

    I’m not going to argue this matter on the basis of subjective assessments such as the beauty of the locality.

    This isn’t because I dismiss the value of such things, but because it isn’t measurable, and therefore not arguable without resorting to personal opinion.

    What’s beyond debate is this: Ray Burke gave our energy resources to Shell for nothing.

    If that isn’t treason, I’d like to know what is.

  12. fair ’nuff – i just get emotional when i’m there cause people i love are now forced to live with this shit (literally) at their back door…

    why isn’t the garda commissioner or whoever being hauled into a public accounts commitee or the dept of defence being called in to explain why public resouces are being used to protect a private company? someone ring george lee quick.

  13. Bock, a quick google of Bertie Ahern + shell and Bertie Ahern + corrib brings up the following links. make of them what you will:

    Isn’t it the case, that Bertie went back and revisited the staggering sweetheart deal that Burke gave to the oil companies? Bertie sweetened the deal even further if I remember correctly. This was in 1992, roughly around the same time he was supposedly in financial difficulties and getting mar dhea digouts. Definitely a cause for concern I would think.

    Even more interesting was this link about the Spanish Point Oilfield which is larger than the Corrib field.

    Does anyone know how long these agreements last for? I think it’s 25 years but am not sure.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.