The Observer is reporting that a small oil services company called OSSL gifted sweeteners to residents and gardaí of Rossport, Co. Mayo, on behalf of Shell from 2002 to 2010 – including a delivery of €35,000 of alcohol to Belmullet Garda Station in 2007.
“The company (OSSL), managed by Desmond Kane from Glasgow and Neil Rooney from Belfast, insists that the services it carried out for Shell even ran to providing the police force with alcohol soon after a major clash with protesters – along with other outlandish favours to residents.”
“More sinisterly, OSSL also claims that a Shell manager demanded that Rooney withhold evidence after the clash, which occurred at Pollathomais in 2007. Rooney says that he heard an officer say of the pipeline protesters, “drive them into the sea”, but was told that this “cannot be part of your statement” to an ombudsman because the officer concerned was “our man” and “had to be protected at all costs”.
“But the “accommodation services” went too far for OSSL. It was tasked to provide “a tennis court, cookers, television sets, agricultural equipment, school fees, home improvements, garden centre visits, forestry equipment”, says Rooney – for local residents. He says that he and Kane found themselves paying workmen to do one thing, then invoicing Shell for something else, and often administering “accommodation services” themselves.”
“The pattern was the same as the saga reached its reported nadir: the delivery, from Northern Ireland in an unmarked van, of alcohol worth €35,000 (£30,100) to the Garda station at Belmullet, where the policing operation was quartered at Christmas, 2007. Kane quotes a Supt John Gilligan as saying, while he was helping to unload the consignment of booze, “it’s lucky these walls are high”, lest the protesters caught a glimpse of what was going on.”
Previously: Paul Murphy MEP, Rossport And The Law