Further Calls for Investigation into Allegations of Alcohol Bribes to Gardaí

McGrath's Pier, Pollathomais, 2007Pobal Chill Chomain Press Release 

As a community group committed to solving the continued difficulties with the ongoing Shell/Statoil Corrib Gas controversy, we are extremely concerned with the most recent developments regarding allegations of bribery and deception involving senior members of An Garda Siochana and agents acting on behalf of the Corrib developers; i.e. the long-term bribery of Garda members with gifts of alcohol, and misleading a Garda Ombudsman investigation.

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.

Various statements have been issued in recent days by Shell E&P Ireland and our police force, and we note with dismay that neither group has yet denied the accusations, but merely pushed them away with talk of repeated internal investigations with no possibility of independence.

Pobal Chill Chomain also notes the statement issued by the Garda Siochana Ombusdman Commission (GSOC) as reported in the mainstream media, stating no complaints were received in relation to the revelations.

GSOC’s reluctance in investigating this aspect of Corrib is unhelpful to say the least, but it’s statment – that no complaints were received in relation to the revelations – is deeply disturbing. Whether intentionally misleading or otherwise, we know this statement to be untrue.

In May of this year – long before the issue was reported in the British and Irish press – GSOC were informed by members of our community of the allegations and the damage they were causing to all concerned, and Pobal Chill Chomain is calling for the Garda Ombudsman to correct it’s statement immediately.

Other people and organisations – including rights groups Frontline and AFRI – have called for a truly independent investigation into these matters, and Pobal Chill Chomain wishes to support that call, as a matter of extreme urgency.

Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan also issued a short statement about the allegations: here and Partners in Faith have also joined calls for an independent investigation into the matter: here

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