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Senior garda to meet Corrib booze contractor


Senior garda to meet Corrib booze contractor

Áine Ryan

A SENIOR garda confirmed yesterday he ‘was in the process of arranging a meeting’ with the former Corrib gas contractor who claims he delivered almost €30,000 worth of booze on behalf of Shell to Belmullet Garda Station before Christmas 2007, while smaller amounts were delivered as festive gifts the previous two years.
Supt Thomas Murphy of Swinford Garda Station told The Mayo News he had just returned from holidays and had contacted Mr Desmond Kane of OSSl to arrange a meeting.
“I tried to contact Mr Kane by phone this morning and I am now about to email him to arrange a meeting,” Supt Murphy told The Mayo News yesterday.
Shell said last week that it ‘unequivocally rejects OSSL’s allegations regarding delivery at any time of alcohol to An Garda Síochána’. A spokesman for the oil and gas multinational said such ‘actions would constitute a serious breach of the Shell Group’s long-established business principles and code of conduct to which [Shell] fully commits in the conduct of its operations’. It reiterated the fact that it had carried out an inquiry and that there was ‘no evidence’ to support such claims and that the only gift-giving practice they engaged in for a time was ‘modestly priced Christmas hampers’ to locals and business suppliers.
A previous garda inquiry also ‘found no evidence’ to support the allegations. However, a second ‘examination’ was initiated last month.
Community group Pobal Chill Chomáin has joined a number of other groups – including peace and justice group, Afri, Frontline Defenders and Shell to Sea – in calling for an independent inquiry into the matter.
In a statement by spokesman John Monaghan, the community group reiterated the fact that it was ‘committed to solv ing the continued difficulties with the ongoing Shell-Statoil Corrib Gas controversy’, but was ‘extremely concerned about the most recent developments regarding allegations of bribery and deception involving senior members of An Garda Siochána and agents acting on behalf of the Corrib developers’.
“These allegations strike at the heart of our community, but strike also at the basic notion of democracy and transparency in this country, and must be rooted out at their foundation if we are to move on from conflict and mistrust,” the statement continued.
Meanwhile, the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC) has clarified the fact that it had received a complaint about the alleged delivery of the alcohol but had deemed it ‘inadmissible’. Two north Mayo residents, Micheál O’Seighin of the Rossport 5 and Terence Conway of Shell to Sea jointly submitted a complaint about the alleged matter to GSOC on May 13 last, prior to the issue being widely reported in the press. Mr Ó Seighin confirmed on Midwest Radio last week that the complaint was deemed inadmissible because they, the complainants, were not directly affected by the alleged action.

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