ShellNews.net: Yet another PR disaster for Shell after Nigeria, Brent Spar, the reserves debacle and the $10 billion cost overrun on the Sakhalin-2 project: now the Corrib Irish pipeline "cause célèbre": 16.45pm: Saturday 23 July 2005
By John Donovan
The following article about the controversial Corrib pipeline project in Ireland was published by ShellNews.net three weeks ago. This was before the shock announcement by Shell regarding the $10 billion cost overrun on the Sakhalin-2 project in Russia.
We launched a webpage under the prophetic heading of "SHELL PR DISASTER IN IRISH PIPELINE COURT BATTLE". It now contains getting on to 100 news stories. (SHELL PR DISASTER IN IRISH PIPELINE COURT BATTLE)
The "Rossport 5" remain incarcerated despite the best efforts by Shell and the Irish government to find a way out of a predicament of their own making, which has resulted in major public protests, Shell boycotts and massive adverse publicity for Shell. The whole affair is now a "cause célèbre" on an international basis which is growing in coverage and potential scope for further damage to Shell's already wilting reputation.
The protests continue this weekend.
The following link are also relevant to developments in Ireland: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2003/January/03_enrd_028.htm
ShellNews.net: The Sunday Times article "Corrib threat to Shell sell-off: "Do we spy another PR disaster on Shell’s horizon after Nigeria, Brent Spar and the reserves debacle?": 17.40: Sunday 3 July 2005
By John Donovan
Do we spy another PR disaster on Shell’s horizon after Nigeria, Brent Spar and the reserves debacle?
During the Shell Transport AGM last Tuesday, Lord Oxburgh said that Shell had decided against becoming involved in the Corrib pipeline project in Ireland and only changed its mind because of pleading from local people. Shell management must be wondering whether it should have stuck with its first decision, as there appears to be all of the ingredients present for another Shell PR disaster al-la Brent Spar.
Even the political wing of the IRA has entered the fray with comments from Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, that the five men jailed for obstructing the construction of a Shell gas pipeline in Co Mayo are right to take a stand.
The gathering storm reminds me of an almost two hour meeting I had on 25 May 1995 with the then Shell UK Chairman & CEO, Dr Chris Fay, at the height of the Brent Spar affair. Although the meeting in his palatial office suit at Shell-Mex House had nothing to do with Brent Spar, Dr Fay brought up the subject. He confessed that he was wondering if all of the pressure on him was worth putting up with. He appeared totally fed up and depressed with his lot in life – butler and all.
If Shell does not get a grip on the Irish situation it could create similar difficulties in terms of more unwanted adverse publicity.
LEGAL STUFF (NO NEED TO READ UNLESS YOU ARE A SHELL LAWYER, OR SOMEONE WITH A DEEP INTEREST IN SHELL, OR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION OR COPYRIGHT ISSUES)
LEGAL STATEMENT BY THE ROYAL DUTCH SHELL GROUP REGARDING THIS WEBSITE: I, Alfred Donovan, would like to remind Shell lawyers that the "group" has placed on record its acknowledgement of my freedom to air my opinions about Shell on ShellNews.net. I did of course already have rights under various freedom of expression conventions and declarations but its nice to know that Shell, one of the multinational rulers of our planet, recognises this fact. The Royal Dutch Shell Group made the following unusual statement in a legal document in regards to this website: - "The... Group... have been aware of the site since the beginning and whilst they would not endorse or agree with many of the comments made by the Respondent on the website, they have taken the view that the Respondent is entitled to express his opinions and to use the Internet as a medium for doing so." This statement drafted by Shell lawyers and authorised by the "Group", amounts to tacit approval/acceptance/recognition of this website by Shell. It was submitted to The World Intellectual Property Organisation in May 2005 by Shell International Petroleum Company Limited on behalf of the Royal Dutch Shell Group in proceedings against me, Alfred Donovan, as the "Respondent" (owner) of three domain names, including www.royaldutchshellplc.com. It remains a mystery why Shell has taken an entirely different view regarding the fundamental human right to freedom of expression in respect of the former Shell geologist Dr John Huong, the well-known Shell whistle-blower, in relation to postings under his name elsewhere on this same website. Eight companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group collectively obtained a High Court Injunction to silence him. The Injunction remains in force.
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