Article on The about Barryroe discovery and Ireland’s oil and gas

The LogoFollowing the announcement in March 2012 by Providence Resources of a commercially viable oil discovery at the Barryroe field off Co Cork, The (an Irish online newspaper) ran this well-researched article (published 25th March 2012) about the significance of the discovery in the context of the Irish State’s management of its oil and gas resources. I was interviewed for the article.
How much is the Barryroe oil find actually worth to us?

A striking aspect of this article is that the vast majority of comments under the article are supportive of the view that Ireland’s licensing terms are too generous to oil companies. This is indicative of how the critique of the State’s management of its oil and gas has gained wider acceptance. A year or more ago, similar articles tended to attract comments that were misinformed and largely hostile to campaigners’ argument.

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Newstalk item about Providence discovery at Barryroe

Here is a recording of a discussion I was involved in on Newstalk radio on 15th March 2012. The item was about the announcement by Tony O’Reilly’s Providence Resources that it had made Ireland’s first commercially viable discovery of oil at the Barryroe oil field off Co Cork. (Thanks to Mark Malone for creating this YouTube clip.)

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Corrib: Shatter’s ‘protest tourists’ are acting in Ireland’s interest

[Article published on on 21 February 2012]

As 19 campaigners go on trial in Mayo, William Hederman writes that the expensive policing of the Corrib gas project is facilitating a transfer of resources to private corporations. Those “outsiders” who protest in Mayo are doing Ireland a great service Continue reading

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Last night’s Frontline and the tax take from Corrib

By William Hederman. On RTÉ’s Frontline last night, I raised the question of the very low projected tax take from the Corrib Gas project. This issue is sometimes misunderstood. An example comes in this comment sent to me today by one of the other contributors to the programme, Tony Allwright. You can read my response below. (Incidentally, there were numerous pro-industry myths aired on the programme, which I hope to address in a further post very soon.)

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Frontline programme covering natural resources issue this evening

If you are watching Frontline on RTE television this evening (Monday 6th January, 2011) and are visiting for the first time: welcome. Your best place to start is the top two articles in the Articles section. Some of this information is also contained in a submission I made to an Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Committee reviewing Ireland’s licensing terms, following an invitation from the Committee to make a submission.

I have a Twitter account here.

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Submission to Oireachtas Committee reviewing oil and gas exploration licensing

Last month (December 2011) I was invited to make a written submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Natural Resources and Agriculture, which is reviewing Ireland’s licensing terms for oil and gas exploration. My submission is below.  Continue reading

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Who is to blame for RTÉ’s false claim that the ‘rape tape’ was ‘tampered with’?

By William Hederman

Just before its main evening television news programmes this evening (December 7th, 2011), RTÉ will broadcast what campaigners are calling an “apology” for its coverage of the so-called “rape tape” saga. RTÉ have pointed out that it is in fact a “correction” rather than an apology, but it amounts to the same thing.

The station was ordered to broadcast this “correction” by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) because a report by its crime correspondent Paul Reynolds on July 28th 2011 was “inaccurate”, “unfair” and “harmful” to Jerrie Ann Sullivan. She is one of the women whose arrest last March led to a Garda sergeant and his colleagues joking about threatening to rape the women who were then in their custody. Continue reading

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Sunday Independent article about Corrib protesters was ‘significantly misleading’, Press Ombudsman finds

Press Ombudsman LogoThe Press Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against the Sunday Independent over an article by Jim Cusack about the women at the centre of the Corrib Garda “rape” recording. He has found that the article was “significantly misleading” and that it reported rumour as fact.

The complaint was brought by Jerrie Ann Sullivan, one of the two protesters whose arrest in Mayo on March 31st 2011 led to a Garda sergeant and his colleagues accidentally recording themselves with a digital video camera. During the conversation, they talked about threatening to rape one of the women in their custody.

The wording of the decision is convoluted, due to the complex nature of the case. However, viewed together with Cusack’s article (‘Rape’ claims were hurled at gardai by protesters), the Ombudsman’s decision reveals a crude and highly incompetent attempt to undermine the credibility of the women who brought the recording to public attention. Continue reading

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BBC radio documentary on ‘oil and gas giveaway’

A BBC radio documentary examining controversial aspects of oil and gas exploration in Ireland aired on BBC Radio Ulster today (Sunday, October 2nd, 2011). As the title suggests, ‘Ulster’s Oil and Gas Giveaway’ deals primarily with exploration north of the border, including fracking in Co Fermanagh and oil exploration around Rathlin Island. In the final 10 minutes, the programme also looks at exploration down south.

It is available to listen on the BBC website for seven days (i.e. until Sunday, October 9th). It will air again on Thursday, October 6th (so will presumably be available online until October 13th).
• Ulster’s oil and gas giveaway (30 min documentary; available until Oct 13th, 2011)



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Guardians of oil and gas giveaway to be questioned in public

At last, the people most culpable for maintaining Ireland’s giveaway licensing terms for oil and gas are being made to explain themselves in public. At 3pm today (Tuesday, September 27th), senior officials from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will be questioned by a committee of TDs and Senators. Continue reading

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