-- Environnement --
Publié le 22/07/07 12:56 -- mis à jour le 00/00/00 00:00
The Celtic League Secretary General has welcomed assurances given by Shell about their operations in Nigeria and Ireland however he has told Shell Vice President, Michael Wilkinson, that «many people view Shell as the cause of the grievances and injustices that are occurring» in North Mayo. He also points out that events such as the recent jailing of three Mayo fishermen are exacerbating not helping the situation (see below):
«Michael Wilkinson Vice President Sustainable Development Royal Dutch Shell plc. CArel van Bylandtlaan 30 2596 HR The Hague The Netherlands
Dear Michael Wilkinson
Many thanks for your letter dated 26th June and your assurances that Royal Dutch Shell takes its commitment to the environment seriously.
Concerning the Corrib project it was encouraging to see that Shell recognised that mistakes had been made and was sorry for the hurt caused to the local community in County Mayo. As you rightly state, the project can only succeed if a strong partnership is developed, so that trust can be built up between Shell and the local community. If this was Shell's original intention then I am sure the events surrounding the arrest of the Rossport 5 would not have taken place and a more peaceful moratorium would have been reached.
Taking this into consideration, I was therefore surprised to learn that other members of the local community in County Mayo were jailed last week, including a father and son, for an alleged attack on a member of the Gardi at a protest against Shell in October 2006. I am aware that Shell was not directly implicated in the proceedings, but there is a strong feeling amongst members of the community and protesters that the Gardai are siding with Shell and working on their behalf. This is exacerbated by the high volume of officers who are often present at the gas refinery site, protecting Shell's interests.
The distrust of the rule of law that is building among protesters and the community at large is a serious matter and many people view Shell as the cause of the grievances and injustices that are occurring. As you will be aware trust, in such situations, is a two way process. We would therefore like to know what steps Royal Dutch Shell will pursue, to build future trusted links with the local community in Bellanaboy and its environs.
On another note, we were particularly pleased to hear that Shell feels confident that it is able to meet the revised 2009 deadline to end gas flaring in Nigeria. Regarding gas flaring in Nigeria. What further assurance can you give the League that the 2009 deadline will not be revised again at a later stage?
We look forward to hearing from you.
See also Celtic News earlier items on this subject at:
J B Moffatt Director of Information Celtic League