For nearly a decade Shell has been trying to build an oil pipeline through the heart of Rossport, Ireland, which would cut through private property, jeopardize the area’s delicate bog ecosystem and threaten both the safety of Rossport’s citizens and the local farmers’ way of life.
However, thanks to a small group of local, committed citizens- the pipeline project has yet to move forward. One of the leading voices against the pipeline is Willie Corduff, who was awarded the Goldman Prize in 2007 for his efforts to rally citizens to take a stand against the project.
A recent article from The Guardian has put the Irish community’s struggle against Shell back in the spotlight. In an effort to win community support, Shell has doled out a millions of dollars in lavish favors and “donations” to individuals and organizations in the region. Shell refers to these donations as “accommodation services,” but to many onlookers they look like corporate sweetners and even bribes.
One particularly telling instance of these “services” has to do with a local police force that was allegedly plied with alcohol supplied by Shell after the engaging in a brutal crackdown against pipeline protesters.
These allegations have done little to improve Shell’s standing with the community and have many locals concerned that the police have interests other than serving and protecting in mind.