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Donegal - Event Notice
Thursday January 01 1970

Launch of MAOR, a new group concerned with gas and oil exploration in Donegal

category donegal | environment | event notice author Thursday April 12, 2007 00:33author by MAORauthor email donegal.maor at gmail dot com Report this post to the editors

New Donegal group MAOR organises in response to giveaway of Ireland's natural resources and demands a better deal from Government. Launch: 2pm, Saturday the 14th of April in Letterkenny 's Market Square.

DONEGAL residents are launching a new group, MAOR, on April 14 to create awareness and to take action on the economic and environmental issues surrounding oil and gas exploration in Donegal.

‘We believe that this and previous Irish governments have given away the rights to gas and oil exploration at rates no other country would approve,’ said MAOR spokesperson, Amanda Slevin.

‘Off the Donegal coast this summer there are likely to be four separate license holders exploring for gas and oil. The people of the county will not gain anything from our natural resources, but damage to our environment. In fact, people in Norway, through Statoil, are likely to see more benefit than we in Ireland,’ she added. ‘We are launching MAOR on April 14 in Letterkenny and welcome everyone to join us.’

Under Offshore Licensing Terms agreed in 1975 and 1992, licences granted to companies including Shell, Marathon and Statoil gave control of vast offshore reserves to the oil and gas industry. The majority payout goes to developers, with the Irish Government not demanding any royalties or profits from Irish natural resources; this is in stark comparison to countries such as Canada which demands up to 30% royalties, 26.12% tax and significant bonuses. The Ministers who signed these deals were Ray Burke in 1987 and Bertie Ahern in 1992. As a result people in Ireland will see little benefit from the potential 10 billion barrels or 450 billion euros worth of gas and oil off the North and West Coast of Ireland.

‘MAOR calls on everyone in Donegal and the North West to Mobilise, Act, Overcome and Reclaim our rights to our country’s offshore natural resources,’ said Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig. ‘Last summer a five company consortium was drilling off the north coast of Donegal without any warning to the local people.

‘We hardly need to be reminded of the threats to the environment in Erris, Co Mayo from the proposed Shell gas processing plant and pipeline to Ballinaboy Bridge. The Corrib group of companies, all major international oil and gas producers, have been granted licence terms that will mean local people still paying high prices for fuel, while the profits are sent to other countries.

‘And these companies have consistently refused to allow full investigation of the real environmental damage likely in the Erris peninsula.’ When in 2002, the Irish government allowed compulsory acquisition orders for the benefit of private companies, the scene was set for five men from Rossport to be jailed for nearly 100 days in 2005 for daring to protect their way of life.

‘We welcome the decision by Mayo Co Council to call on the Government to renegotiate all deals regarding Ireland’s natural resources, including the Corrib gas field.’

Mayo Councillors have pointed out that other countries are renegotiating deals with oil and gas companies. Senior planning officers have already rejected the proposed Ballinaboy Bridge location on the grounds that it threatens a scenic location and is unstable since it needs the removal of thousands of tons of peat bog, and is too close to family homes.

‘Its high time that we here in Donegal and the North West, take a stand to reclaim our rights to our offshore resources,’ declares Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig. ‘Join us on April 14 and show your support.’


14th April, 2007 at 2p.m. in the Market Square, Letterkenny


Frank Connolly – Investigative Journalist and author of the ‘The Great Corrib Gas Controversy ’

Michéal O’ Seighin – Rossport 5

Amanda Slevin - MAOR

Chairperson: Michéal MacGiolla Easbuig

author by News readerpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 09:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Shell pays out over reserves affair

Royal Dutch Shell is to pay European and other non-US investors more than £178m to settle claims over the scandal surrounding the overstatement of its oil and gas reserves.

The company shocked shareholders in 2004 by slashing its proven reserves figures by some 20 per cent .

The affair cost three of its senior executives their jobs, sparked a probe by US regulators and sent the firm's shares plunging.

Shell said it had agreed to pay out some £178.3m, plus administrative costs, "without admitting any wrongdoing".

It has always insisted that the overstatement was a genuine error and not a deliberate exaggeration.

It has said it plans to offer the same deal to US investors in proportion to their shareholding in the company.

The agreement is dependent on the Amsterdam Court of Appeals ruling that the settlement will be binding on all shareholders.

Non-US investors include ABP and PGGM, as well as organisations representing individual shareholders.

Royal Dutch Shell is the West's second-largest oil company by market value.

It is worth some £108bn at its current share price.

author by Mary. Dpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 09:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sound good but what does MAOR stand for ?

author by Goblinpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sometimes I am so disgunted with the short-sighted greed and small-mindedness of our forelock tugging politicians that I contemplate emigration.

This will be Corrib all over again, huge revenues lost to the Irish people as our mickey mouse government lays down the red carpet for Statoil and Shell.

Standard practice world-wide is royalties with 25% Tax on top. Are we an independant nation or not?

We have without doubt the greatest bunch of amateurs and pretenders in Government here than in ANY other country. And watch as these clowns get re-elected by the fucking sheep that is the Irish Public.

author by PBP Watchpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could someone confirm whether any of the people involved in this are SWP/PBP/IAWM?

author by daffy duck - nonepublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

What is it about people like PBP Watch that want to see the tentacles of the SWP everywhere? Do they see groups like the SWP, SP, SF etc. ad nauseam as the enemy, as the people who are exploiting the oil and gas of the Irish people? Wise up, man, cos you can be sure PBP Watch is a man with too much time on his hands.
Get yourself a life. Get out there and do something about the rape of our resources at the hands of multi-nationals.
If you have so much spare time, get to the meeting in Letterkenny at 2 on Saturday and ask the organisers yourself.
You might learn something about co-operation between activists as well while you're there.
This is far more important than finding out which sect everyone is a member of.
There are far more crucial issues to be faced than the participation of left groups in political activities.
It's really important that groups like this get as much support as possible because they are the ones who are trying to raise public awareness on this scandal.
And try to lose your fear of the bogey man.
Once you do that, you'll find that there's a great big world out there, full of exciting things to do and really interesting people to meet.
Go on. You owe it to yourself, and to us as well!

author by YETIpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

last night at the Free Mumia talk in Dublin, Donal from the SWP collected email addresses and phone numbers from the crowd.

My prediction is that those who gave their details will start to receive info about PBP, or the anti-war movement, or some such SWP front.

author by mgpublication date Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am not a fan of the SWP or their fronts. However in their defence that email list is meant to be an open list where all participants in the list can email details of their campaigns or any such info. I signed up to it however I think indymedia and indymedia's event list should be utilised far more.

author by Amanda - MAORpublication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 14:12author email donegal.maor at gmail dot comauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

MAOR is an Irish word meaning guardian or stewardship, and is an acronym for Mobilise, Act, Overcome, Reclaim. We are a group of Donegal residents who have formed in response to the issues surrounding hydrocarbon (gas and oil) exploration and licensing in Donegal.

There are currently 9 Frontier Exploration licenses and 5 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses outstanding for areas off the Donegal coast (a number are shared with Mayo). Areas which may be affected by exploration and in turn, commercial mining include; Malin Head, Tory Island, Gaoth Dobhair, Burtonport, Killybegs and Ballyshannon. The terms of the companies’ contracts are the same as those of Shell, Statoil and Marathon in Rossport, which concerns our group greatly. These terms mean that the people of Ireland get no profits or royalties from our natural resources with companies having to pay very little, if any tax, as the low 25% tax rate is offset against costs accrued over a previous 25 year period. We will not get reduced prices for our natural resources as the companies will sell our resources back to us at full market prices. We are not guaranteed a supply of our resources in an emergency. Communities face possible Compulsory Acquisition Orders in the event of onshore refineries, which also bring a range of environmental, health and safety concerns. Given the hostile offshore conditions off the Donegal coast, onshore refineries similiar to Rossport are highly likely.

According to the Petroleum Affairs Division (Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources) there is a potential 10 billion barrels of hydrocarbons off the West Coast of Ireland. At current market prices, the value of these Irish resources is approximately 450 billion euros - from which the people of Ireland will see little benefit. This is extremely concerning given the high levels of economic and social disadvantage along the West Coast of Ireland, and the state institutions which are losing out from this give away of potential revenue, particularly Health and Education.

Emerging from the contracts and future exploration and drilling are a range of issues, particularly pressing is that four of the licenses holders off Donegal are obliged to carry out exploratory drilling within the next year as a condition of their licenses. As a group MAOR is focused on three key areas surrounding the aforementioned issues: licensing and exploration, environment (including infrastructure), and community.

Alongside preparing for our launch, the group is currently planning a range of road-shows in County Donegal to let people know what is happening across the spectrum of issues surrounding exploration and drilling. Important to also mention is that MAOR is non-party political and comes from a genuine community oriented view, and not influenced by any party’s political agendas. We are Donegal residents, concerned about our county and have been doing this work on a completely voluntary basis.

If you are concerned about any of the issues mentioned, come along to our launch and show your support. Our launch will be held on Saturday the 14th April at 2p.m. in the Market Square, Letterkenny. There has been absolutely NO consultation about any of the issues, and at the end of the day it will be all of our communities which will lose out.
For further information email donegal.maor@gmail.com or ring 086 3622378.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 17:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Copied from above:

"There has been absolutely NO consultation about any of the issues, ..."

Allowing for the fact that the Republic of Ireland signed the international United Nations "Aarhus Convention Agreement" in 1998, this "NO consultation" business has to be COMPLETELY out of order (I believe). The basic principles of the Aarhus Convention Agreement can be found via http://www.google.com/search?q=Aarhus+Convention+Agreem...earch , and they include and depend on the following kind of very basic ideas and arrangements:

1) "It links environmental rights and human rights."

2) "It links government accountability and environmental protection."

3) "The subject of the Aarhus Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between people and governments."

After signing the Aarhus Convention Agreement in 1998, and after reaping the huge financial benefits involved (i.e. billions of Euros), all three of the main branches of the Republic of Ireland government (Legislative, Government, and Judiciary) then appear to have done EVERYTHING they possibly could to hide the "Aarhus Agreement " information from the voters, as they all continue to do to this day: and with the full support and backing of the "establishment" media it seems. Some further information on these points, which includes mention of the way the entire government is BLATANTLY violating Article 29.5.1 of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland) regarding this issue of the Aarhus Convention Agreement can be found at http://www.indymedia.ie/newswire.php?story_id=72344&con...34512 .

Finally, and with the 2007 GENERAL ELECTION in mind, a few words ("cupla focal") from the late, great "legal maestro" himself, who was also a linguist, and who actually learned to translate at least one ancient Irish folk tale for himself it seems ("Oisin in Tir na nOg"):

"To secure these inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:429 (For context see: http://etext.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/jeff0150.htm )

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/81757&comment_limit=0&condense_comments=false#comment189489
author by damienpublication date Fri Apr 13, 2007 19:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Firstly, the Aarhaus convention was never ratified - so it has no legal standing in Ireland. Secondly you claim :

"after reaping the huge financial benefits involved"

What befits are you talking about? could you provide an exanple?

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you identify yourself properly (so I know who you really are) I will answer your query.

Otherwise, and as far as I am concerned, I would like to respectfully suggest to you that you find the answer to your own question by your own means.

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com
author by damienpublication date Sat Apr 14, 2007 13:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The terms of use of indymedia permit anonymity - and rightly so.

In the mean time I think the readers will understand that your refusal to provide any evidence for you rediculous claims, is simply because you dont have any evidence.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Sun Apr 15, 2007 08:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The terms of Indymedia also permit me (and others) to ignore your fragmented, corrupt, malicious, and bad-mannered ravings - all delivered in a completely cowardly fashion from behind a wall of anonymity.

I do not have any problems regarding the fact that Indymedia allow anonymity: my concern relates to people like you who are abusing this otherwise useful facility - in ways which enable you (and your kind) to say whatever you like, but NEVER have to take ANY responsibility for ANYTHING you write: regardless of how damaging and/or upsetting it might be for the victims of your abuse.

Related Link: http://www.constitutionofireland.com
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