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Gardaí and protesters at Shell Bellanabo Gas refinery in Co Mayo Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Garda Ombudsman to investigate Shell 'booze bribes' allegations

Shell said it welcomes the news of an investigation, and that it will co-operate fully.

THE GARDA OMBUDSMAN  is to investigate allegations that a contractor for Shell provided alcohol to gardaí in Co Mayo.

The Ombudsman told this evening:

The Garda Ombudsman received material from the Garda Siochána in accordance with section 85 of the Garda Siochána Act 2005. Following consideration of that material, the Garda Ombudsman has today begun an investigation.

Shell E&P Ireland Limited (SEPIL) said it welcomes the investigation into OSSL’s allegations.

It said that in recent weeks, SEPIL “provided information to Supt Murphy’s examination and will also co-operate fully with GSOC’s forthcoming investigation”.

These allegations have dragged on for a long period and SEPIL trusts that GSOC’s involvement will bring this matter to an end.

OSSL was a contractor employed at the Corrib gas project from 2005 – 2010. It was to provide safety equipment as a sub-contractor to the main contractor, Shell.

Shell said that in late 2009/2010 it told OSSL that its services were no longer required.

This was followed by a contract dispute, and during this time OSSL alleged that there had been delivery of alcohol to gardaí, as well as gifts for local residents, in 2007.

The allegations were detailed in an Observer article in August of this year. OSSL alleged it delivered €35,000 worth of alcohol, which came from Northern Ireland, to Belmullet Garda Station in December 2007.

OSSL invoiced SEPIL for the alleged deliveries of alcohol to gardaí, said SEPIL.

An independent internal investigation was instigated by SEPIL, but the team did not find any evidence to support OSSL’s allegations.

A senior Shell representative met with OSSL in June of this year and SEPIL is satisfied that their contractual dispute has been closed.

Read: Allegations of Shell booze bribes for gardaí ‘raise serious concerns’>

Read: Eight Shell to Sea protesters due in court over public order offences>

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