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Update on Garda investigation of Shell Corrib Corruption

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 00.03.05By John Donovan

I have been supplied with several extracts from current correspondence involving Garda Supt Thomas Murphy, Shell and OSSL, some of which has been copied to Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser and Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan.

Supt Murphy is carrying out an investigation of the OSSL allegations, which include the claim that OSSL delivered free alcohol to Garda stations on the instruction of Shell E&P Ireland. The consignments, amounting to tens of thousands of euros in value, were all festive gifts.

We have already published one OSSL invoice to Shell for the alcohol. Significantly, Shell does not say that the invoice for deliveries in 2007 is fake or fraudulent. Shell says it disputes the invoice, but does not say on what basis.

The current focus of the investigation seems to be on an alleged request for final payment for the alcohol and  ex-Gratia payment for Desmond Kane, his daughter Amanda and Neil Rooney – all colleagues at OSSL. Supt Murphy initially described the request as a “2nd invoice”, then as an email.

OSSL says in an email circulated today to Shell, Statoil, the Garda and other parties, that there was “no new demand for alcohol money as stated by Crothers to Irish Police”. Michael Crothers is the current CEO/Managing Director of Shell E&P Ireland. 


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It is salient to recall that previously Supt Murphy had declined to bring Crothers into the investigation. He stated in an email sent to OSSL on 9 July 2013 that he had received a phone call from Michael Crothers and that had informed him that “he was not a party to my investigations.”

This seemed odd bearing in mind that when Mr Crothers had engaged in email correspondence with OSSL, he did not take issue with OSSL reference to the alcohol in question. In fact, Crothers replied 22 minutes after receiving an email from OSSL mentioning startling information, including the supply of large amounts of alcohol to the Irish Police Force and related falsification of invoices. Crothers did take issue with one thing that OSSL had quoted him as saying, but significantly, not with the reference to the alcohol and falsified invoices. 

The relevant correspondence is published below.


From: OSSL [mailto:[email protected]]

Sent: 22 May 2012 12:26

To: Crothers, Michael J SEPIL-UIE/T/I

Subject: Re: Recent meeting update


Dear Sir

Took your advise and spoke to John Macnally re his meeting with Shell KPMG Mr Grimes .


I wish to make this observation off the record and only as a conversation between our selves and not Shell OSSL .  


If you ever want to fill a man with resolve that will fuel him in his determination to see a situation through to an honest conclusion then ,


Firstly … Tell him in front of his legal representative at ten forty five on a Thursday that you SHELL did in fact shut his company down  abruptly, without notice,and immorally .


Then secondly …send the all powerful KPMG to his accounts office at nine am Friday the following day to inform him through his advisor that a prison sentence is the likely outcome of being involved in the supply of large amounts of Alcohol to the Irish Police Force and for allowing his company to be used by SHELL for the falsification of invoices  to suit SHELLS purposes in disguising payments in cash and favours for selected MAYO locals .


Always mindful that the aforementioned acts were carried out on SHELL instructions one wonders if KPMG were in receipt of all the detail to allow them to suggest prison was a real possibility .


Yours in astonishment .


Desmond .


Desmond Paul Kane




Telephone (0044)  075 90 11 07 17



From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Subject: RE: Recent meeting update

Date: Tue, 22 May 2012 12:48:43 +0000


I did not say that “Shell shut down your company immorally”. I was careful to say that I personally felt some moral obligation to try to find a way to find a settlement, hence the without prejudice offer that was made.


Would you like to meet again soon to continue discussions?



Managing Director, Shell E&P Ireland Limited

Registered Office

Corrib House

52 Lower Leeson Street

Dublin 2



Registered in Ireland Number 316588


Directors: MJ Crothers, JG Egan, AM Hamilton


It is relevant to note that Mr Crothers subsequently supplied OSSL with an official letter of endorsement signed by him in his capacity as Managing Director of Shell E & P Ireland full of praise for OSSL.  I have a copy. Why on earth would he do that if OSSL had already made false allegations to Shell in relation to the vast amount of free alcohol used by Shell to reward the Garda for its services on behalf of Shell?

Why would Shell now be raising the question of a second invoice, or request for final payment, if no alcohol was in fact ever supplied? Why would it be an issue for Supt Murphy to investigate, as he evidently is, unless he has established that alcohol was supplied to the Garda?

We already know that a high level Shell executive on the Corrib gas project did send a festive gift of free alcohol to the editor of an Irish newspaper, who had the integrity to return it, presumably to avoid any possible suggestion of being bought by Shell.

As far as I know, the Garda never even returned the empty bottles.

The Corrib corruption saga rumbles on.

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