After 14 years the Shell Refinery at Ballinaboy is nearing completion with over 1000 workers currently engaged in the largest construction site in Ireland. After years of bitter debate and violent protests, numerous court cases, planning hearings and reports Shell’s attempts to bring the gas ashore are still implacably opposed by a group of determined protestors who have pledged to turn the Refinery into a "white elephant in the middle of a bog". In this programme reporter/presenter Paul Williams, crime editor of the Sunday World newspaper, delves into the local and national issues at stake in the dispute over the ‘Gasfield’.
Interviews shot in Mayo include prominent local personalities including local priest and Mayo News columnist Fr Kevin Hegarty, Shell to Sea campaigners Maura Harrington and Niall Harnett; the local Pro Gas Mayo group Padraig Cosgrove, Garda Chief Superintendent Tony McNamara; locals working for Shell; Shell Executive John Hollowell, and head of security at the Glengad landfall site Jim Farrell of IRMS.
Shot in late April and late May by DoP Seamus Deasy with Andrew Felton on sound, the programme explores the campaign to stop Shell and the various political and ideological motivations of those leading the ongoing protest. Director/producer Gerry Gregg is putting the finishing touches on the edit this week with editor Roisin O’Donnell at EGG Post Production. Music and sound mix was done at Waveform in Dublin. The programme was commissioned by Fintan Maguire at TV3.
Two of Gregg’s documentaries, made in 1999 with Channel 4 war correspondent John Sweeney, helped convict five Serbians at a war crimes tribunal in The Hague in March earlier this year. The Emmy-award winning documentaries, part of a Dispatches series on Channel 4, exposed a massacre of Albanians in a Kosovan village in 1999. The programmes were submitted as evidence to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
‘Paul Williams Investigates-The battle for the Gas Field’ will be broadcast on TV3 on Tuesday 2nd June at 9pm.