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A bird's eye view of the vineyard

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Alternative site: Site was created using the downloads provided Regards Herb

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Dear friends As I have previously announced, we are now “freezing” the blog.  We are also making archives of the blog available for free download in various formats (see below). 

offsite link What do you make of the Russia and China Partnership? Tue Feb 28, 2023 16:26 | The Saker
by Mr. Allen for the Saker blog Over the last few years, we hear leaders from both Russia and China pronouncing that they have formed a relationship where there are

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Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link RTEs Sarah McInerney ? Fianna Fail supporter? Anthony

offsite link Joe Duffy is dishonest and untrustworthy Anthony

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Human Rights in Ireland
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Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Why I?m Voting Reform Fri Jun 14, 2024 09:00 | Toby Young
One reason to vote Reform is not because you think they have a chance of winning more than one seat. Rather, the more votes they get on July 4th, the stronger the case for a Right-wing Tory to succeed Rishi Sunak.
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offsite link Labour vs Conservative Manifesto Pledges on the Environment: Spot the Difference Fri Jun 14, 2024 07:00 | Ben Pile
Ben Pile analyses the environmental policies in the Conservative and Labour manifestos and struggles to spot the difference.
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offsite link News Round-Up Fri Jun 14, 2024 00:48 | Richard Eldred
A summary of the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the ?climate emergency?, public health ?crises? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
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offsite link James May is Right: Pride is Becoming Authoritarian ? and Christians are Bearing the Brunt Thu Jun 13, 2024 19:00 | Julian Mann
James May has triggered a twitterstorm by accusing Pride of authoritarian tendencies with Too Much Bunting. But he's right, says Julian Mann ? and it's Christians who are bearing the brunt of the growing intolerance.
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offsite link Swiss Parliament Rejects ECHR Ruling That Country?s ?Weak? Climate Policies Breached Human Rights Thu Jun 13, 2024 17:12 | Will Jones
The Swiss Parliament has rejected a 'landmark' climate ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that claimed the country's climate policies breached its citizens' rights by being insufficiently severe.
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The Shadow over Erris: Shell, IRMS and Bolivia

category mayo | rights, freedoms and repression | feature author Friday June 26, 2009 14:04author by Andrew - WSM (personal capacity) Report this post to the editors

Sometimes monsters do exist

featured image
Dwyer Posing With Guns In Bolivia

In any country with a half way critical media, the last few months would have been disastrous for Shell. In a crucial period in Shell’s imposition of an experimental gas pipeline on the people of Erris it emerges that Michael Dwyer, one of the security guards on this project, was part of an attempt to trigger a civil war in Bolivia. Soon after that it became clear that at least three others who had worked as security guards at the Shell compound had travelled to Bolivia with Dwyer and were wanted there for questioning. Some, it emerged, had links to fascist organizations in Eastern Europe.

At least 156 private security personnel work on what Shell calls the 'Corrib Project' accompanied, according to the Irish Times, by up to “Several hundred Gardaí and the Naval Service .. with the Naval Service deploying one and “possibly” two patrol ships”. (1) The level of force being deployed to impose the Shell pipeline project on the local population is a testimony to the long running resistance of the people of Erris, a resistance that so far has not been broken by dozens of arrests, violence and the most vitriolic of attacks from paid hacks in the mainstream media.

At the time of writing everyone is preparing for the return of the pipe laying ship, the Soltaire. In advance of its return strange events have occurred in the dead of night. One Shell to Sea protester, Willie Corduff, required hospitalization after an encounter with masked men at the Shell compound at 4am on Thursday April 23rd. The fishing boat of another key Shell to Sea activist, Pat O’Donnell, was boarded at 2am on Thursday 11th June by four masked and armed men who proceed to sink the boat, leaving the two men on board to fend for themselves. What is striking is the almost complete failure of the Irish media to investigate any of these stories in a serious way or to explore the elements that link events in Bolivia and Erris.

Lack of investigation

Yet in the same period we have seen both TV and print ‘investigations’ of the situation in Erris where the pipeline is being imposed. Bizarrely these have targeted the under resourced locals and their supporters as some sort of ‘dark force’ in the whole struggle and treated Shell as if its some sort of squeaky clean neutral force whose every utterance (including the ‘off the record’ ones) can be treated as statements of fact. And just as extraordinarily these ‘journalists’ have chosen to leave out the fact that known corrupt politicians changed the rules to allow Shell access to the gas royalty free.

At a time when health, education and community programs are being slashed due to ‘lack of funds’ surely this is a story? Given the history of corruption that has emerged from the tribunals, which involved the same politicians who gave Shell the Gas for free, what might be dug out with a little journalism?

The material found with a little bit of googling on the topic would make for a Hollywood film script, never mind a major expose in any of the major papers. Yet that article has yet to appear in any major mainstream media in Ireland. As we will see more has appeared in the international press. On the margins of the Irish media some things have been published, but basically as the work of one or two of the dozens of journalists who are supposedly reporting on the David v Goliath confrontation happening in Erris. Even in these cases too often the names of the companies and sites these men worked for and on have been left out.

Of course we will never know for sure what the facts are behind many of these events and the connection between them. Decisions to start civil wars or to sink boats are not going to be made and recorded in board rooms. Shell has a long, long history of imposing projects on local populations and dealing with the consequences of resistance. While we cannot say what happened we can bring the facts as they are known together and paint a picture that the reader can draw their own conclusions from. The picture is strange and complex, understanding it requires a little patience but the patience will be rewarded as distinct patterns emerge from what at first seems a bizarre patchwork of colours and shapes sprayed upon a wall by a careless creator.

Dogs of war

In April 2009 Bolivian special forces raided a hotel room in Santa Cruz. During the course of the raid they shot dead an Irishman Michael Dwyer who had worked at the Shell compound in Erris, Eduardo Rozsa Flores, a Croatian-Bolivian fascist and one other man. Two others were arrested. In the following days the Bolivian authorities claimed that the gang around Flores were working to spark a civil war leading to the secession of the gas rich Santa Cruz region. Testimony was given that they had carried out one bombing and were planning a wave of assassinations. Not only had weapons been found in the hotel room but so too were pictures of the men posing with a high powered sniper's rifle capable of hitting a target at 1 km.

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Dwyer pictured in Bolivia with Rozsa and some of their stash of weapons

The killing of Michael Dwyer in Bolivia was treated by the Irish media as an oddity that had no particular connection to anything happening in Ireland. But how did Michael Dwyer who had worked as security at the Shell pipeline building project in Erris, Co Mayo end up being shot dead in Bolivia? Within days of the killing it emerged that many of the others wanted for questioning were European fascists, recruited by Flores.

There was another connection, although it was more normally hinted at then spelled out. Shell used to have a gas pipeline in Bolivia until less than a year before Dywer met his death. President Morales had announced the nationalization of this pipeline at the start of June 2008 after claiming that the holding company, which Shell had a 25% stake in, had “conspired against his government.” This was four months before Dwyer left the Shell compound in Glengad with a number of his fellow security guards for Bolivia.(2)

The Phoenix was one media outlet that has dared to put some of the connections into print, and that fact that this magazine is read by just about every journalist means that the rest of the media can’t plead ignorance of the facts. In an article titled ‘Dwyer, IRMS and the Szekler Legion’ the Phoenix reports that Dwyer “fell in with a group of right wing Hungarians led by one Tibor Revesz, commander of the so called Szekler Legion, a paramilitary movement” some of whose members had worked as security at Shell’s Erris compound. (3) The Phoenix was being cautious, in a Cork Examiner article Scott Miller described the Szekler Legion as “an openly fascist paramilitary group which trains with AK-47s.” (4)

Big-mouthed fascists

Dwyer it turned out had a fascist tattoo and was known to Irish fascists. On the Irish section of a fascist organising website (Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy) a regular poster called ‘Byzantium Endures’ reposted an article about Dwyer's death on the day it was reported with the note ‘RIP mike’ returning a day later to post “He had SS sig runes tattooed on his arm, I know he was a WN.” (WN stands for ‘white nationalist’ i.e. fascist). ‘Byzantium Endures’ was to go on to make some pretty stunning claims, included in them were facts that were not yet in widespread circulation.

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Dwyer showing his tattoo with the SS letters at the bottom

On the following day ‘Byzantium Endures’ posted again to claim that “Mike was in Bolivia working for a private security company, Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS). It is owned by Terry Downes and James Farrell. Both Downes and Farrell are former members of the Irish Army Rangers.” And later that day “Just to add Mike's work out there involved doing close quarter protection work for Shell executives, seems Morales is sending a message to those who oppose him.”(5)

Fascists, particularly the online version, are notorious fantasists, so these claims need to be taken with a very large pinch of salt. 'Byzantium Endures' identifies Dwyer as connected with IRMS at around the same point as this was first being raised on and also identifies the tattoo on his arm as being fascist in character. ‘Byzantium Endures’ obviously believed Dwyer was still working for IRMS however on April 22nd “I-RMS confirmed in a statement to The Irish Times that Mr Dwyer had worked for the company. It said he was employed as a security guard at the Corrib gas construction site from March to mid-October.” (6) Presumably this difference in accounts (‘Byzantium Endures’ version is similar to what it is reported Dwyer had told his parents) was because Dwyer could hardly tell the folks back home what he was actually up to.

Disappearing websites

A second Phoenix article by ‘Goldhawk’ went on to point out that “Coincidentally no sooner had The Irish Times referred to Dwyer’s work for IRMS than the security company’s website was taken offline to be “updated’” and the references to “special services” and “international armed and unarmed security” were removed before access to the site was again prohibited. Goldhawk was anxious to get details of this “international armed and unarmed” activity from IRMS but the company failed to return his call." (7)

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The sequence of changes to the IRSM site that occured after news of Dwyer's death in Bolivia.
First the references to “special services” and “international armed and unarmed security” were removed
and then the site was taken off line.

The IRMS website was not the only one that went down after the shootings. Another site to go down was which was the personal site of Tibor Revesz, the ex-Hungarian army soldier identified in the first Phoenix article as the “commander of the so called Szekler Legion.” Revesz had left Bolivia ahead of the special forces raid that killed Dwyer and since then as Phoenix points out “websites appear to have been falling like ninepins, not least that of IRMS itself.”(8) The material on Ravesz site relating to Shell and Erris was also removed but not before some of it was spotted and copied by bloggers interested in the story.

They reported reported on (9) and that Revesz had on his web site souvenir badges, tee shirts and hoodies “commemorating two of the ‘glorious battles’ against the anti-Shell campaigners.” The implication of this is that he thought he had some sort of market to sell these to, presumably other Szekler legion members who had also worked in Erris. Just how many of these were there, apart from the ones we already know of?

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Two of the badges that Revez had on his website prior to it being taken offline. Note the similarity with the SS Deaths head skull on right

They also revealed that the Revesz / photosniper site had been used in October 2008 to appeal for volunteers for an expedition to Bolivia (just 3 months after the nationalization of the Shell pipeline there). October 2008 was also when IRMS claims Dwyer left their employment. On his CV on the web site Revez said he started work for IRMS on 25.03.2008 but has no end date listed as he had for all his previous employers. (10)

Scott Miller writing in the Irish Examiner got a little more information out of IRMS on June 20 writing "Talking to the Irish Examiner in the Broadhaven Hotel, Mr Farrell confirmed that two Eastern European men who travelled to Bolivia with Mr Dwyer have in recent weeks resigned from his company. He dismisses speculation of any possible involvement by his company in the South American venture." (11)

This backs up an earlier Irish Times report from June 2nd that some of those who travelled to Bolivia with Dwyer were still working for IRMS on their return. In that piece Conor Lally could not find it within himself to even name the security firm the men had worked for never mind mention the name of Shell. He reported that “POLICE IN Bolivia want to interview three men living in Ireland about their movements in Bolivia with Michael Dwyer, .. The three men .. worked with Mr Dwyer in Ireland. The men – two Hungarians and a Slovak – travelled to Bolivia with Mr Dwyer last November. One of the men is still working in the same security company in Ireland where he and Mr Dwyer met. The other two men worked for the same firm until recently and are still living in Ireland.”(12)

Scott Miller had earlier reported in an Irish Examiner article that “Gábor Dudog and Gáspár Dániel, associated with the Szekler Legion are currently missing in Bolivia. According to reports in the Hungarian press, Mr Dudog worked in Ireland in the security business and spent 6 to 8 six to eight months in Bolivia, protecting deliveries for a major oil company.” In the light what we now know one wonders just which ‘major oil company’ Dudog was working for. And why the Irish Examiner, which has been braver in its coverage than most of the Irish papers, felt unable to name that company or to say just where in the security business in Ireland Dudog had worked.

It would be interesting to hear more from IRMS as to who these three men are and the specific dates of when they left IRMS employment.

Naming names

The curious thing about almost all the media coverage is the obvious evasion in the way the sections of the articles that mention or might mention companies and names are written. Yet this Irish Times piece is still significant in saying that those who travelled with Dwyer were still working for the unnamed ‘security company’ and that at the point in the time (June 2nd) this article was written, one of them still was! It would be interesting to know where they were working but then if Conor didn’t want to name the company he’d hardly want to give us that information. Conor Lally is one of a number of journalists who has written about the Erris struggle in a manner calculated to portray the protesters in a negative light, it’s a pity he is so much more cautious when writing about the other side of that struggle.

The international press has not shared this caution. Here for instance is Saigon Daily’s version of events, which is in turn a reprint of the Wall Street Journal’s coverage. The first line introduces some new characters in the story, I’ll explain their relevance shortly.

“The Morales government says Mr. Marinkovic aided the Rósza gang with money and houses.

In Ireland, Mr. Révész worked as a guard at a pipeline project, according to one friend and one co-worker. It was the same place where Michael Dwyer, the young Irishman, worked. Integrated Risk Management Services Ltd., contractor for security at the pipeline, said Mr. Dwyer was a security guard for six months last year. The company didn’t respond to an email asking about Mr. Révész’s employment.” (13)

Marinkovic was a major shareholder with Shell of the nationalized pipeline in Boliva. The Bolivarian government accuses him of being linked in with Rosza, the apparent commander of the gang. Marinkovic denies this connection. Dwyer was of course killed with Rosza in the Santa Cruz hotel. From the investigations in Bolivia it appears the return flights of 11 people including Dwyer were paid for from Madrid to Bolivia. La Prensa of June 4 named the eight who actually travelled as “The Irishman Michael Dwyer, the Hungarians Tibor Revesz, Elod Toaso, Daniel Gaspar and Gabor Dudog, the Slovak Ivan Pistovcak, the Romanian Arpad Magyarosi and the Bolivian-Croatian Mario Tadic.” (14) Of these 8 men Dwyer and Arpad (a Szekler Legion members) were killed in the hotel room raid in Bolivia. Toaso (also named by the Examiner as a Szekler legion member) was arrested in the same raid. Some of the others named, including Revesz have been named in Bolivia as wanted for questioning in connection with the events there.

The Sunday Mail speaks out

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The Mail on Sunday exposé of the story, the most complete account so far published in Ireland

In terms of papers published in Ireland the one that perhaps has gone the furthest at this point in time is The Mail. This is a little surprising as politically it is further to the right than any of the domestic titles that have stayed quiet, but then again, its owner isn’t linked into the oil and gas exploration off the west coast. On May 31st the Mail reported

“It is now known that Kildare-based security firm Integrated Risk Management Services (I-RMS) played a part in bringing Dwyer together with right-wing Hungarian elements from a group known as the Szekler Legion - an outfit prepared to use violence to achieve autonomy for ethnic Hungarians in a border region of Romania.

One of those elements was Tibor Revesz, a commander of the Szekler Legion and the owner of its websites - upon which appeals for volunteers for an insurgency campaign in Santa Cruz were advertised late last year.

Both Revesz - who is being sought by Bolivian law enforcement and thought to be still in Ireland - and Dwyer worked for I-MRS protecting the Shell Corrib gas project. It is here, facing down protests from the Shell to Sea campaign, that the pair are thought to have met.

.. Revesz also used his website to advertise an I-RMS close-protection course that included pistol, carbine and tactical firearms training. All of Revesz’s web pages have been deleted in recent weeks.

I-RMS - based beside the Army Ranger Wing HQ in the Curragh in Co. Kildare - has refused to comment about its role in bringing Dwyer and right-wing fanatics together.

But there is no doubt that any of the foreign-owned oil companies present in Bolivia would certainly have an easier life if something were to happen to Morales.” (15)

The Rangers and Fort Benning

The Mail article introduces a new element, the role of the Irish Rangers in the story. Who are the Army Rangers? The are an elite and secretive ‘special forces’ unit of the Irish army intended to fill a similar function to the SAS or elite US military formations. A good first source is the Irish Army website (16) which despite blurring the faces of Rangers in photos otherwise tells us quite a bit. For instance under their history of the unit they tell us “In the late 1960s and early 1970s a small number of Defence Forces personnel attended American Army Ranger Courses at Fort Benning, Georgia in the United States. On their return, these personnel were responsible for organising similar type courses.”

Fort Benning, Georgia is the home of the ‘School of the Americas’ often referred to as the ‘School of the Assassins’ because “many of its students have been associated with death squads, and coups in Latin American countries” (17) including Roberto D'Aubuisson who murdered the Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Romero while he celebrated mass. In November 1989 Schools of America’s graduates murdered six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter. The SoA trains the special forces units of many of the armies in Central and South America, the equivalent of the Irish Rangers.

School of the Americas Watch says the school “taught repressive techniques and promoted the violation of human rights throughout Latin America and around the globe. The manuals contain instructions in motivation by fear, bounties for enemy dead, false imprisonment, torture, execution, and kidnapping a target's family members.” Every year more than 10,000 people demonstrate at the School of the America’s on the anniversary of the killing of the 6 priests , their housekeeper and her daughter. As a result of the repression of these protests “183 people have collectively served over 81 years in prison.”

The Irish Army website actually situates the formation of the Rangers in the context of the sort of training the SoA provides (with of course a positive spin) when it writes “The evolution of the Army Ranger Wing resulted from an increase in international terrorism in the late 1970s and 1980s .. European and other countries realised that conventional police and military tactics were not suited to dealing with this escalating threat.” Elsewhere their site refers to “Seaborne Interventions” and “Difficult or dangerous specialist tasks on land or at sea” under the heading ‘Aid to the Civil Power’. It would be interesting to know what if any Ranger deployments may have happened on the land and sea around Erris under the excuse of ‘Aid to the Civil Power’.

The strange events in Erris & motivation by fear

Now that we know a bit about Ranger training and their possible scope of operations it’s worth looking again at some of the stranger events that have been reported from Erris. What at first seems fantastical seems less so when you take into account who may be deployed down there and just how far the Rozsa group were willing to go in Bolivia. Really in that context the happenings at Erris are not at all extreme, quite the opposite in fact. The odd beating or sinking hardly measures up to the bombing of cardinals or assassination of state governors.

Following the mysterious attack by masked men on local activist Willie Corduff at the Shell compound the Mayo News carried the following “IN an emotional interview, Mr Corduff recalled how, after spending almost 19 hours lodged under a Shell lorry, he was allegedly assaulted by men in balaclavas .. “I think they were professionals. They seemed to be big men. They put me down on the ground and all I can remember is four of them kneeling on me. They didn’t use their hands, they used their knees. They squeezed me like a sandwich and they had my airwaves closed off; and my hands were at the back of my head.” (18)

Then on the night of 11th June local fisherman and activist Pat O'Donnell's boat the 'Iona Isle' was boarded by four masked and armed men and sunk out at sea. A Shell to Sea press release reported the event as follows “At 2am on Thursday morning, Pat O'Donnell's boat the 'Iona Isle' was boarded by four masked men and sunk out at sea, near where Mr. O'Donnell lays his fishing pots off Erris, North Mayo. Mr. O'Donnell and crewman Martin McDonnell were attacked and held down by some of the men, while others went below deck, where they proceeded to sink the boat. Both local men have been taken to Castlebar General Hospital, where they are recovering.”(19)

Pat later put out an account on indymedia which included “Pat O'Donnell's fishing boat was boarded by four masked men, two of whom were armed, at approximately two o clock this morning whilst out at sea laying pots. The two armed men held Mr O'Donnell and his crewman Martin McDonnell in the wheelhouse of the boat while another two went below deck for 20 minutes. These men returned to the deck and the two crew members were held for one and a half hours until the engine went out. At this point the masked men alighted onto an unknown vessel that took them away. None of the men spoke good English. Mr O'Donnell went down to the engine room and realised that the boat was sinking.” (20)

One aspect of the special forces training described by SoA Watch falls under the heading ‘motivation by fear’. This would seem a reasonable term to describe some of the events in the Erris area, many locals are on record as being afraid of the various mysterious forces active in and around the area. They haven’t managed to get clear answers about who has been seen filming them (and their children). The limited media coverage of their fears has tended to ridicule them as being unreasonable, when you look at the big picture it becomes clear their fears are very reasonable indeed.

What was going on in Bolivia?

Dwyer's mission appears to have been to help spark a civil war that would lead to the secession of the Santa Cruz region from the rest of Bolivia. Much of the mineral wealth, including the gas of Bolivia is in the Santa Cruz region. Bolivia is currently ruled by Evo Morales, a radical president who was swept to power on the back of a massive social movement and who then part nationalized the gas industry including Shell’s pipeline. It is possible the secession of Santa Cruz would see the rise of politicians more compliant with the interests of international energy corporations like Shell. More in other words like the sort of politicians that gave Shell the gas royalties for free in Ireland.

Branco Marinkowitz is the politician and large business owner who has been identified in the Bolivian and international press as the main leader of the secessionist movement. Marinkowitz is a founder (and president) of the secessionist Council of Santa Cruz. Shell’s connection with Marinkowitz is through that pipeline company that Shell also owned 25% of until it was nationalized. four months before Dwyer and the others left the Shell compound in Glengad, Erris.

The Irish mainstream media have almost universally tired to paint Dwyer as an innocent abroad, at worst a Walter Mitty type character caught up in a situation he didn’t understand. Minister Micheal Martin initially played the same game before going quiet once more details started to emerge from Bolivia. We’ll look at Dwyer’s involvement in detail in a while but let there be no doubt that those he was working with were dangerous people.

Eduardo Rozsa Flores

The military organizer of the Bolivian expedition was Eduardo Rozsa Flores, killed with Dwyer. He left a pre-recorded interview broadcast after his death on Hungarian TV where he said “I have been called to organise the defense of the city and province of Santa Cruz, the Council of Santa Cruz have voted for the creation of a regional security council. I will go to Brazil and Bolivia and begin to organise Militia. The organisers will provide funding and arms .. illegally and probably from Brazil .. I understand there will be a conflict with the Central Government .. We won’t walk with flags, we will do it with arms, we will declare independence and create a new country.”

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A picture taken by the gang of Rosza sleeping with his guns

The Belgrade daily, Politika, wrote the following about Eduardo Rozsa Flores in the 1991 Croatian war “.. he joined the infamous Croat paramilitary unit Zenga and became the commander of the “International Brigade”. “Reporters without Frontiers” accused him of killing two foreign correspondents in Croatia, Swiss Christian Wurtemberg and British photographer Paul Jenks.” (21)

After the deaths in Bolivia one British journalist in Croatia at the time of these killing published a long description of the events in the right wing Telegraph newspaper (hardly one with sympathies for Morales)
“I spent most of my time that day with a Swiss man called Christian Wurtemberg .. His was an intelligent and articulate voice amid the mayhem. So a chill went down my spine when I heard a few days later that he had been killed.

More chilling was the subsequent news that he had been dispatched by strangling - an unusual end in a conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives. Various witnesses have since come forward to say that he was tortured and garroted on Flores' orders as a suspected spy, although the commander claimed he was killed in an ambush.

Two weeks later, Paul Jenks, a freelance British photographer, was shot dead in the same fields that I had stared out at during my visit to Flores' headquarters. A single sniper's bullet to the back of his neck felled him. .. The back of his head was exposed to the closer positions of Flores' forces. And Jenks had reportedly been investigating Wurtemberg's death when he met his own.” (22)

Dwyer's involvement

Clearly from his own statements and his past actions Eduardo Flores was a ruthless and dangerous character. And in the hearings that have been happening in Bolivia the evidence heard does not paint Dwyer as an outsider but rather as Rosza’s right hand man and possibly his bodyguard.

“According to Bolivian media reports, Mr Gueder Bruno said he attended meetings along with Mr Dwyer during which the killing of local politicians was discussed. .. This evidence was backed up by a video showing Mr Dwyer at a meeting in which the possible assassination of Bolivia’s Socialist president, Evo Morales, was discussed by Mr Flores.” (23) Bolivian TV showed pictures of Dwyer and others posing with a variety of weapons including a high-powered sniper rifle accurate to over a kilometer. (24)

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Toaso pictured with the sniper rifle that can hit targets at a range of 1km

Other reports of the testimony reveal that “Gueder Bruno, a member of the far-right Santa Cruz Youth Council (UJC) and charged with terrorist crimes, admitted on Thursday that he supplied arms to the group led by the Bolivian-Croat, Eduardo Rozsa, organizer of a cell of international mercenaries who were planning an assassination in Bolivia. .. “I withdrew from the project of locating weapons when Rozsa said, in the second meeting, that he wanted to target the Governor of Santa Cruz” .. Gueder Bruno said that the Paraguayan Mendoza Malavi, and also Magyarosi Arpad, Michael Dwyer and Eduardo Rozsa Flores were at both meetings.” (25)

Perhaps most damning off all was the La Prensa report that “the statement of the arrested Mario Tadic .. said the people who carried out the attack on the house of Cardinal Terrazas July were Eduardo Rózsa Flores and Michael Martin Dwyer. In one paragraph he stated that ‘The day the thing exploded at the home of the Cardinal, Eduardo and Mike arrived at about one o'clock in the morning and boasted of what was done: 'We threw that one at him and now we'll see what will happen'. Mike's face was frightening in his joy".” (26) The day before Dwyer was shot the home of the Cardinal of Santa Cruz had been attacked with dynamite. The Cardinal was actually a supporter of the sucessionists, the purpose of the attack appears to have been to stir up their own supporters.
Why the fascist involvement?

This is a complex story. One that stretches from the isolation of western Ireland to Bolivia, from the elite wing of the Irish Army to shadowy eastern European fascist organizations and far right mercenary plots. It reads like a bad B-movie plot. But the bodies in the Santa Cruz hotel room are real enough as are the sinister and strange events in Erris around the Shell compound there.

There are two common aspects to these geographically separate stories. In both a Shell pipeline plays a significant role. In both some of the foot soldiers are recruited from fascist organizations to fight and in the Bolivian case die for interests they perhaps did not fully understand. But what would a load of European fascists be doing getting involved in a Bolivian coup?

An article published on by Fionuala Cregan shortly after Dwyer's death explains this in detail. She wrote that the secessionist groups “include “the Unión Juvenil Cruceña (Union of Cruzeno Youth): a youth group with open neo-Nazism sentiments and which has been involved in frequent violent mob attacks against the local indigenous population, and Nacion Camba, an openly racist organization formed of local “intellectuals”. The Nacion Camba web site is quoted to illustrate this as follows “In general Bolivia is perceived to be a fundamentally Andean country made up of aymara and quechua – a backward and miserable ethnicity .. whose bureaucratic centre in La Paz exploits our economic wealth, condemning us to backwardness .. but there is another side to Bolivia, the 30% of the population who are based in the east and who are made up Mestizos (mixed race European and indigenous).”

It’s a common fantasy among many fascists of carrying out acts of provocation which will spark off a ‘race war’. It appears that circumstances in Bolivia probably gave Flores a recruiting argument that went beyond financial reward. Certainly Dwyer’s friend on a fascist website (Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy) had been exposed to these arguments when he wrote “Whites in Bolivia are under seige from the commie govt, no different then in South Africa, thankfully they are getting organised and trying to create their own homeland. Most Whites in Bolivia are v racially aware. Mike was just unlucky murdered by a commie despot to justify further anti White oppression.”

These fascists are simply useful idiots in the global corporate game of gaining control over energy resources. They are something of a distraction from the real story here, except as an illustration of just how careless IRMS were in terms of recruitment for the Corrib site. A carelessness that may not have ended with the deaths in Santa Cruz for the News of the World of June 6th carried an article on a secret fascist meeting in Dublin where they reported “Another attendee, Thor, claimed he worked in security on the Corrib project in Co. Mayo, where he regularly "bust heads". He also claimed he had contacted members of the far-right linked to the recent failed assassination plot, which ended in the death of Irishman Michael Dwyer.” (27) He posts as thor1488 on the fascist website (Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy) where he taunted other fascists in one post that "you advocate the political route, the legal,above board, public face of the wn cause, while i am a member of the underground who is willing to use direct action against the antifa, swp and the rest of the unwashed." (28)

None of the events in Bolivia directly involve Shell. The corporation is always at least one step, if not more, removed from events on the ground. Outside of Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy that fascist site (hardly the most reliable of sources) none of the Bolivian plotters have been named as directly working for the corporation at that point in time. That said we don’t know who the “major oil company” that Dudog worked for in Bolivia and to who Scott Miller referred to in the Irish Examiner is.

Shell, Nigeria and the New York settlement

Shell have just settled out of court in New York to avoid a trial for complicity in the decision to hang Ken Saro-Wiwa, Dr. Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen, Baribo Bera, Saturday Dobee, Felix Nwate, Nordu Eawo, Paul Levura and Daniel Gboko in Nigeria. (29) The settlement means the evidence will not now be heard but in advance of the trail Reuters reported that “Lawyers for the plaintiffs say evidence in the trial will include documents in which Shell called Saro-Wiwa a threat that should be eliminated.” According to a Bloomberg report “The plaintiffs claim Shell’s Nigerian unit assisted the government in the abuse and murder of opponents of the company’s operations in the Niger Delta. .. Shell recruited Nigerian police and military to attack villages and suppress the movement.” (30)

Rather unsurprisingly in advance of the trial Shell spokeswoman Robin Lebovitz said the allegations are "without merit." After the 15.5 million dollar settlement by Shell The Guardian wrote that " What it suggests is that Shell wants to bury the facts about what was happening on the Niger delta in the 1970s and 1980s .. The settlement stops the world knowing exactly what was the company's relationship with the national government and the military, and the extent of Shell's involvement in the human rights abuses that led to Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution." (31)

Shell’s PR buys results

Shell spends huge amount of money on PR, in 1998 “Shell spent US$30 million on contracts with PR company Fishburn & Hedges alone.”(32) The article “Irish Times Shell PR” in the May 22 issue of the Phoenix looks at how in Ireland Shell have successfully changed the line of the Irish Times over the last two years to the point where now the Irish Times now frequently send their crime correspondent to cover protests in Erris. The Irish Times is not unique in this respect, media outlet after media outlet considers it suitable to send crime correspondents to cover the protests despite not only the bias this reveals but also the fact that crime correspondents depend on developing and maintaining positive relations with the Gardaí to continue to get news stories. If they want to continue to get the scoops their jobs depend on they are not in a position to bite the hand that feeds them such stories.

Such is the success of Shell’s PR machine that when Colm Rapple, a guest on RTE’s ‘Marian Finucane’ show managed to slip in a mention of the Bolivian story Cathal McCarthy howled in anguish in The Independent going so far as to threaten that “it might be unwise of RTE to allow anyone to suggest outlandish and ruinous speculative motives to what was, at the very least, the violent killing of an Irish citizen in the most dubious circumstances of which it is possible to conceive.” (33)

The Independent is controlled by the O’Reilly’s, pre-crash billionaires who coincidentally holds a “40% stake in Providence Resources Plc, the Irish based oil and gas exploration and development company.” (34) The Independent group also owns the Evening Herald, Irish Independent, Sunday Independent, Sunday World and the Irish Daily Star, as well as 14 regional titles and two free newspapers. Plus a 98% stake in the Sunday Tribune. The observant reader will perhaps notice that none of these titles have named names on the Shell – IRMS – Bolivia story although most if not all of these titles have been happy enough to throw all manner of weird and wonderful accusations at the locals who oppose the Shell pipeline and their supporters.

You can see why journalists in this country are not prepared to commit hari kari on their career by naming names in this story. Even if your not a journalist currently working for an Independent title you’d want to be careful of pissing off the family who own a 40% state in an Irish oil and gas exploration company as you may well be looking for a job at one of those titles in the future. And its not like what it left of the Irish media has been a whole lot better with the honorable exception of The Phoenix and the Irish Examiner, both of which are sadly rather small circulation niche titles.

Another consequence of Shell’s highly successful PR offensive is the routine appearance of articles in the media that seek to portray the locals and their supporters as subversives. Sometimes this can be quite farcical, for example the Phoenix points to the Irish Time’s Peter Murtagh getting away with publishing an article in March where he links the struggle to “ ‘notorious INLA murderer’ Dominic McGlinchy” on the weird grounds that “his son supports the protests.” While there have been acres of coverage in the media on that sort of basis the facts revealed in the aftermath of the killing of Dwyer have received scant coverage.

Semi-state bodies

A large part of this story revolves around Integrated Risk Management Services (IRMS). The company that at least four or five of the men who travelled to Bolivia had worked for and for whom two or three continued to work for on their return, at least for a while. The Phoenix has been looking at IRMS over a number of issues and has concluded that “clearly the company has good connections in establishment circles, security and political.” (35) The meaning of political is clear enough and IRMS have provided security for several of the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheiseanna. But what about ‘security’?

We know IRMS were founded by a couple of retired Irish Rangers and that their offices are located beside the HQ of the Rangers. The location alone suggests some sort of ongoing connection, perhaps of an informal kind. After all men who served together in elite units often form a bond that goes beyond the period of service. Yet the Rangers traditionally strongly discourage not only any sort of ‘nixer’ (work on the side) but also any involvement in politics, two barriers involvement in IRMS would obviously cross. Retired Rangers are no longer under these restrictions, indeed many go into one form or another of ‘security’ work, not just in Ireland but around the globe. Their training provides them with a skill set that is useful for many corporate requirements. Is it also useful for the Irish state to maintain an informal ongoing relationship both through individual politicians and serving members of the security forces? In Erris it would make no sense if there were not ongoing and constant contacts between IRMS and the Garda and Navy commanders on the scene.

featured image
IRSM director and ex Irish Ranger Jim Farrell at a protest in Erris

Is this part of the growing pattern in western militaries where certain tasks are ‘out sourced’ to private companies who don’t operate under the same constraints as the state security forces proper do? The most infamous of these is Blackwater, which deployed 20,000 to 30,000 armed security contractors to Iraq during the ongoing occupation there. Many of its employees were drawn from a database of 21,000 former Special Forces operatives, soldiers, and retired law enforcement agents. If the US state found it useful to have a militarily trained private security company on hand could the same not be true of the Irish state? On the protests at Erris there is little to distinguish between the Gardai and the IRMS security except that IRMS mostly stay inside the compound. The exception being the Shell security boats which are crewed by Gardaí and presumably IRMS personnel with training in “difficult or dangerous specialist tasks on land or at sea.”

Apart from the boat crews the IRMS role at the Shell compound clearly goes beyond that of static security, at the very least it also includes intelligence gathering. On a walk around the compound one evening in early June three friends and myself were filmed by at least five different private security inside the Shell compound and larger numbers have been observed filming protests at the compound. Somewhat chillingly after the death of Dwyer in Bolivia photos were discovered that appear to show Dwyer and Revez caught in the act of videoing protesters at the Shell compound. It’s hard to be 100% sure of this identification because, as is often the case with security there, the headgear and sunglasses of the man who may by Dwyer obscures his identity. Are IRMS providing a role beyond the dozens of sometimes-masked security that line the fences of the Shell compound?

A picture taken at a protest in Erris that appears to show Dwyer and Revez in the act of filming protesters.
The inset images are pictures of the two men for comparison with those pictured

The government's Private Security Authority chief executive Geraldine Larkin's reaction to what has appeared in the media and to complaints made in Erris about IRMS was reported by the Irish Times as being that the (unnamed) “security firm working for Shell on the Corrib gas project is the “most monitored” security company in the State.” (36) It is not clear what this monitoring means in real terms in relation to Erris. Michael Dwyer not even have the appropriate Private Security Authority (PSA) license for his static security work for Shell in Mayo. The Phoenix revealed that some of the other IRMS personnel named in recent Erris court cases do not appear to be listed in the PSA database. (37) In a court report the May 1st Mayo Advertiser wrote that “Judge Devins said in light of recent media reports about the connection between IRMS staff and issues in Bolivia the superintendent would go back to the DPP about the credibility of the two IRMS witnesses as the DPP may direct that it was now time for their employers to come into court.” (38) The government appointed DPP subsequently “ruled that any involvement of the security company “outside the jurisdiction” should not be examined”.

The Phoenix report concludes with some questions they would like IRMS to answer, reproduced below
“Why has the IRMS website remained offline since shortly after the death in Bolivia of the firm’s former employee Michael Dwyer? When did the firm cease to employ the Hungarian Tibor Revesz, whose web address was used to recruit for the Bolivian escapade and featured a notice concerning an IRMS course involving arms training? And what precisely is meant by services formerly advertised on IRMS’s own website described as “international armed and unarmed security”.” (39)

A segment of the IRMS website before it was taken offline

We also know that the armed Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) has been deployed in Erris on at least one occasion and it is rumored that the operation down there is now being run by a guard who previously headed up the ERU. This is a very curious choice for the policing of protest, the armed ERU was designed for shoot outs with armed criminals and paramilitaries, not policing protests of farmers and fishermen. The Gardai have been operating as if they were at war, among an occupied population.

They have shown little interest in investigating any of the strange occurrences in the area. The Mayo News of 22 June quoted a letter from local campaign group to the Minister of Justice which read “Law and order is being subverted in our community by a sinister, unknown group that is targeting well-known opponents of the Corrib gas project . Senior officers continue to publicly belittle us when we report incidents and to dismiss the gravity of these events.” (40)

The Phoenix points out Gardai reaction to the sinking of Pat O’Donnell’s boat was very odd. The Gardai press release, circulated after Pat had said the assailants boat had escaped to the north insisted for a reason no one understands that it would have had to escape to the south-east. And their first action was to demand Pat’s clothes as if he was their suspect rather than the victim of the crime.

This follows on from Gardai actions last summer when the repeatedly arrested Pat under the pretext of Public Order act simply in order to get his boat out of Broadhaven Bay to make room for the Solitaire. As the Mayo News explained “On one occasion he was released from Belmullet Garda Station two minutes before his lawyers in Dublin were due to present papers to the High Court for an inquiry into his arrest under Article 42.4.2 of the Constitution.” (41) Because he had been released the High Court refused to proceed with the inquiry! His arrest, and the prefect timing of his release, was just one example of how the Gardai in Erris have been making up the law as they go along in order to fill Shell’s needs safe in the knowledge that those further up the chain have their backs.

Reviewing YouTube video’s of various protests at Erris shows an often shocking level of Gardai violence towards the local population, some of them quite elderly or very young. Unsurprizingly almost none of the hundreds of complaints about Gardai violence have been upheld. Now few in Erris bother lodging complaints anymore.

The Great Gas Giveaway

Something I have observed in my involvement in the campaign is how people on getting involved and making their first ‘fact finding’ trip to the area return full of suggestions about how the campaign needs to get the media to cover the story. The reasonable assumption they make is that the campaign has been failing to issue press releases etc such is the yawning gap between what the have read in the newspaper and seen on TV and the reality on the ground.

Why is the media, even outside of the Independent group titles so silent? Perhaps it is fear of a libel action backed by the deep pockets of Shell? Or simply that many of these journalists have been wined and dined by Shell. For instance according to the Phoenix, Paul Williams whose ‘documentary’ on the project was a single minded attack on the protesters was the guest of Shell at the 2007 England Rugby match at Croke Park, part of what Shell told the Phoenix was their “stakeholder engagement list.” And the state media is controlled by the same state that is deploying hundreds of Gardai and the Irish Navy to force the corporate project through against the resistance of Irish citizens.

The media silence extends beyond the Bolivian story to the Gas Giveaway itself, the process by which Irish politicians, one of whom was subsequently convicted of corruption, changed the law in Shell’s interests so that the corporation will not now be required to pay a single cent of royalties on the gas it extracts. The depth of the capitalist crisis and perhaps even some guilt about what Shell has got away with has started to see a minor breaking of ranks. The Irish Times carried an ‘opinion piece’ June 19 from Andy Storey that pointed out the scale of the rip off and the fact that “If the Government were to take only a modest 10 per cent stake in these discoveries then the exchequer would stand to gain a staggering €5 billion.” And that this would mean there would be “no need for such measures as the closure of three wards in Crumlin children’s hospital because of a €9.6 million deficit.” (42)

Indeed Storey’s estimate of the value of the gas and oil offshore is very conservative. Official estimates of reserves at the high prices of gas and oil of two years back would give potential values up to 950 billion. A 10% royalty on a real value of even a quarter of this would be sufficient to reverse every single cut in services and wages that has come about so far in the recession and to cancel all the future planned ones. And some estimates of the total off shore energy reserves have been as high as 3,500 billion! That is the scale of the Great Gas Giveaway and explains why both the political parties that changed the law to allow the giveaway and the corporations that benefit it are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to protect such incredible wealth from those who need it most.

What stands in their way are the local people of Erris who are concerned about the risk the penny pinching of Shell is exposing them to (sending ‘Shell to Sea’ would only cost 100 million of these hundreds of billions). And the small but determined number of people from all over Ireland who have looked at their story and looked at the Gas Giveaway and determined to stand up to the behemoth that is bearing down on them. Vast quantities are being spent on PR and policing because Shell and the state knows it can win as long as those resisting are kept isolated, as long as the mass of the population of the Ireland is kept in confusion over the issues. Their weakness is the risk that outrage at the scale of the huge rip-off that the abolition of royalties amounts to will spread among people in Ireland. That we will become aware that the money which could have funded our health and education needs and headed off many of the deep cuts on our wages and standard of living is instead to flow into the coffers of a multi-national.


The Politics ie thread at was invaluable in researching this article, great thanks is due to the people who spent a lot of time ferreting out much of the information I use.

For background information on the struggle in Erris or to find out how you can help to fight the Great Gas Giveaway see

A video based on this article has been made by Revolt Video. It is available below.

1 Corrib security firm 'most monitored', Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 online at
2 Bolivia Seizes Gas Pipeline From Shell, Ashmore
4 Rangers at Rossport, article at
5 (Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy)– visit with caution as this crowd monitor IP addresses of visitors
6 Irishman planned to take part in bodyguard course, Conor Lally, Wednesday, April 22, 2009, Irish Tines
7 MICHAEL DWYER’S SECURITY CONTACTS: International armed and unarmed security provided by Shell agent in Ireland, The Phoenix, April 24 2009 online at
8 All Phoenix quotes from the May 22, 2009 issue
11Second summer of conflict looms as ship returns to lay final pipes, Irish Examiner, Saturday, June 20, 2009
12 Bolivian police seek three who worked with Dwyer, Irish Times, Tuesday, June 2, 2009, CONOR LALLY, DANIEL McLAUGHLIN and TOM HENNIGAN,
13 Accused Assassins Lead Bolivia to Target Enemies, Saigon Daily Express, May 23rd, 2009,
15 LICENSED TO KILL: Right wing zealots, Big Oil and the tattoo that hid an icon of hatred, The Mail, By Michael O’Farrell and Paul Henderson, Sunday May 31 2009, online at
18 Mayo News, Monday, 27 April 2009, Councillor calls for Corrib compromise
23 Irish Examiner Saturday, May 02, 2009, video is online at
24 Video at
26 A Bolivian daily newspaper
27 We unmask the fanatic plotting of race hate attacks "Face of Evil" By Brian Whelan & Kevin Brannigan - News of the World June 6th
28 (Name of fascist website removed in line with our 'No Platform' policy) 29
31 Shell settlement with Ogoni people stops short of full justice
Payout of $15.5m could backfire now that precedent of a Nigerian community suing a oil company has been set, John Vidal, Wednesday 10 June 2009, online at
33 Conspiracy theories belong on the internet, not RTE Marian Finucane and RTE dropped the ball by allowing offensive 'rumours' to pass them by, writes Cathal McCarthy, Sunday May 17 2009
35 Phoenix, APRIL 24, 2009
36 Corrib security firm 'most monitored', Lorna Siggins, Irish Times, Tuesday, June 23, 2009 online at
37 SHELL’S UNREGISTERED SECURITY MEN, Jun 21st, 2009, by John Donovan, The Phoenix Magazine, online at
38 Harrington accused of dangerous driving while following Shell worker’s vehicle
Mayo Advertiser, May 01, 2009, online at
39 SHELL’S UNREGISTERED SECURITY MEN, Jun 21st, 2009, by John Donovan, The Phoenix Magazine, online at
40 Naval vessels set to escort Solitaire, Monday, 22 June 2009
41 Terror on the Iona Isle, Mayo News, Tuesday, 16 June 2009,
42 State losing billions in natural gas giveaway, Irish Times, Friday, June 19, 2009, online at

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 16:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

This is a brilliant posting can you get it into the mainstream Irish media?

The deafening silence from the oposition parties tells it's own story, by their silence they are condoning What Fianna Fail and the Greens are doing. Their can be no mistake when residents of Rossport can only travel on the roads that they pay tax to use are denied the use of these roads unless they have a permit, it means that the Gardai are now making( and breaking) the laws to suit their own ends.
Even though the media is under state controll there has been plenty of evidence of state crime in Rossport but the public turn a blind eye to it. Just as they have to all the crimes comitted by Fianna Fail. We will all pay for it when we are in the clutches of the International Monetry fund.
The deployment of the Navy in conjunction with a foriegn mercenery Army backed by Gardai and a corrupt government does not seem to bother anybody in the European Union either.
Irish citizens are being brutalised by the same scum that will be out calling for a yes vote to the rejected Lisbon treaty while they allow our state to become totally corrupted. VOTE NO AND STOP THE EVIL OF CORRUPTION IN THE EU AND AT HOME.
Robert Mugabe would be proud of what they are doing.

author by DooB Freepublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 17:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Unbelievable that, despite so much information on this whole situation being on public record, the general public, even those that try to keep themselves informed through mainstream media, refuse to admit the connection between Bolivia and Erris. The excellent article above elucidates these connections. The Irish Rangers' link with the School of America is new information to me. We have been treated similarly to the populations of all those corrupt, US-backed South American political systems, albeit without the coups and assassinations needed there, as our weak politicians rolled over without a struggle and people here have yet to demand change. I fear it may take deaths in Mayo to wake people up. I'm originally from East Mayo where, less than 50 miles away from the abuses of human rights, those people with whom I am still in contact know next to nothing about the situation. Hopefully I can get up to Rossport soon.
Fight the good fight (but peacefully).

author by Liam - Galway Shell to seapublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 17:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

great article, long overdue.
Would you by any chance have it done out in a printable format with the pictures inserted where you want them, pages in order to print as a leaflet?
My computer skills can't compute.


could sent it to

author by Curiouspublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 18:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Where are the SS letters in the tattoo..I have been staring at it for ages and honestly cant make it out. Can you highlight them or sumtin?

author by seanpublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 18:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An excellent peice of investigative journalism worthy of more credit than the one sided dung that is regularly printed in the o'reilly rags by spineless so-called journalists who ignore the facts in favour of the establishment line. Make the people aware lets get the REAL story out there.

author by Jame Kellypublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 18:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Google "Symbol of Waffen SS" and you will see the symbol that is tattoed on to the arm of Dwyer which is shown in Andrew's picture.

author by Lemuelpublication date Thu Jun 25, 2009 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It emerges that the term "security contractor" here has a similar meaning as in reference to private soldiers working for the US in Iraq.

I won't insist on the M-word, but it seems that the Shell/StatoilHydro/Marathon (or Vermilion) consortium is employing private soldiers - people who are more interested in money than in heroic causes - to trample through north Mayo.

author by Dunkpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 07:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

When Irish media failed to communicate the facts, Britains Guardian, made an excellent balanced short doc covering all angles, along with print article, it shows Willie Corduff dropping his pants to show us his injuries after he was visited by "men in balaclavas",

video: The price of gas

rotesters in the coastal Irish village of Rossport gear up for a summer showdown with Shell, as the company prepares to bring a controversial gas pipeline ashore after a decade-long battle

It was released with a related article: Fuelling the fury

As Shell settles a major legal action over protests in Nigeria, closer to home emotions are running high over a gas pipeline near the Irish village of Rossport, sparking violent clashes and bitter recrimination.

News of this video was posted on post about Joe Higgins MEP, taking a stand in defense of Rossport.

Talk at present on the gas giveaway on, please click on, log on, participate in the discussion about the truth of the matter

Irish government deploys navy, Gardai in Mayo today to help Shell rape our resources Irish government deploys navy, Gardai in Mayo today to help Shell rape our resources

Paul Williams - Shell to Sea TV3 Docu. - Pre-Election Special ? Paul Williams - Shell to Sea TV3 Docu. - Pre-Election Special ?

Solidarity from Barcelona

Rossport Abu


The Guardian  video: The price of gas
The Guardian video: The price of gas

author by I-RMSpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 14:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's a class picture of Jim Farrell above. She's behind you!!!

(by the way, you need a caption on the photo of Dwyer in the OP)

author by anonpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

when will this young man be allowed to rest in peace? does anyone care about his poor family. no one knows what this man was like only the people that knew him and its an absolute disgrace that his name is constantly being dragged threw the mud on this website. i dont think he would ever been mentioned here if he had not worked from irms security and i think that some compassion should be shown to his family instead of stupid, empty and obviously ignorant rants. you have a problem with shell thats fine but for god sake let this boy rest. i admire the way people stand up to shell, everyone has different opinions on this gas line, but using this tragedy as an excuse to get at shell is disgusting

author by Andrewpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 16:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The chain of events Dwyer was caught up in did not end with his death but continue today in Erris where dozens of people continue to live in fear. A couple of weeks back two men were held at gunpoint in the dead of night while their boat was flooded and sunk and they were left to fend for themselves. I think it;s very understandable that Dwyer's family would want to protect the memory of their son but this story is not so much about him but about the terror that continues to be imposed on the living, the sons and daughters of other loving parents. For the sake of those other parents they might want to break with those who sent him to his death and tell what they really know or suspect as to what really happened.

author by Marlowepublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 16:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

While I think most people would be sympathetic with Mike Dwyer's family, I think he did put himself on the front page, as it were, and it's a bit crazy to shoot the messenger.

We should feel sorry for all the victims of Shell's greed, and include the Dwyer family in that.


author by Flores is deadpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 16:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

anon Dwyers name isnt been dragged through the mud. His name is mud because of the fascist terrorism and anti-democratic activities he involved himself in.

I feel very sorry for his parents but this guy was an adult and made his choices. Exposing this guys activities might discourage other Irish lads from going down the same road

author by Dunkpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 19:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Andrew, much thanks for this fantastic concise article. I hope it makes its way further out to Irish public, and soon, in the hope that more people WAKE UP. Question the fullness of whats going on in Mayo, and further a field, and join in the struggle.

Copy of the article is posted on at

Solidarity to all those in resistance, wherever, however, against Shell, against the giveaway...

Rossport Abu


author by The Foxpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In the story above it says that Jim Farrell said, that the two Hungarian employees resigned. They were in fact sacked. Just correcting another lie from I-RMS.
(from a current inside source)

author by Dissidentpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 19:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Deadly job, fair play. Copy here:

author by laurencepublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 20:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent research work Andrew.

Irish journalism is shamelessly bad. I remember Conor Lally writing a propos of the Mayday
protests in 2004 that all the protestors who had been at Genoa (some 250,000 people) were
going to come to Ireland. (About 20 - 30 came if I remember right). When the word comes from
the Guards (in this case the GRA) the brain is switched off and the official line is simply

author by No friend of Shellpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 20:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just to add this into the pot, as it was not mentioned in above feature. From Sunday May 3, 2009


5 skinheads in graveside honour guard


NEO-NAZI thugs staged a secret sick tribute to military fanatic Michael Dwyer.

Five skinheads formed a guard of honour at the Tipperary man’s grave in Tullyglass cemetery just a few hours after he was buried last Thursday.

A Garda source said they were members of Hungarian right-wing group, the Szekler Legion.

Cops believe Dwyer forged links with the fascist group on the internet before flying to Bolivia to take a security job.

The 24-year-old was shot dead by Bolivian government troops at a hotel in Santa Cruz on April 16.

The extremists fled from his graveside after they were spotted by a man who tried to take a picture of them on his mobile phone.


The witness said: “These guys were all dressed in black and they gave a salute beside the grave.

They thought no one was around and formed a guard of honour. It was very sinister.

“Once they knew they had been spotted they rushed to their car and drove off at speed.”...


author by No to Shell, No to Fascismpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 21:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors much as I loathe Shell, their actions in Ireland, Nigeria and Bolivia, and as much as I deplore what Dwyer and his fellow-travellers stood for...that article reads like a piece of sensationalist, unverifiable tabloid tripe. I think we're better off not stooping to their level.

author by anarchaeologistpublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 21:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Interesting snippet just noticed on this evening's RTÉ news...

I don't think I've ever heard the acronym IRMS uttered on RTÉ news broadcasts (it's been used on the Pat Kenny Show, where it couldn't really be avoided in the context of a rather easy interview with Jim Farrell by Valerie Cox, who should really have known better). Theresa Mannion tonight though made reference to Shell's private security company. What's all this with the acronym avoidance?

On a slightly different note, today's events in Glengad constituted the second item on Morning Ireland's half-hourly headlines after Michael Jackson's death. Yet the story was only covered over the final 3 minutes of the show, after we heard one of their undoubtedly well paid pol corrs wax lyrical about AC/DC for several minutes.

What would the Ned Stapleton Cumann have made of it all?

author by arty eeeeeeeeeeeeepublication date Fri Jun 26, 2009 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

RTE tv and radio coverage from Today, the arrival of the solitaire. They also seem to have used a cut from activist vid from those who paddled out to the solitaire....

tv and audio:
related text:

author by Julien Behal - Press Associationpublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 09:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sat 27th June 2009, Irish Times.

'Shell to Hell'

Photo by Julien Behal - Press Association.
Photo by Julien Behal - Press Association.

author by Fischepublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 16:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I just want to congratulate Andrew on this really fine piece of work. You have put the so called journalists to shame with this. Shame on them for their complicity. From grubby tabloid hacks to Irish Times liberals, not one of them has the courage and ability to make such a well researched and potent piece.

author by Davepublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well done on a well researched article. A number of really important pieces are brought together here. Particularly about the Irish Rangers and the full extent of Michael Dwyer's involvment in neo-nazi groups.

author by dermotpublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 16:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The author talks about Michael Dwyer being involved in a plot. Can he give his evidence for this? The facts have yet to emerge on the full truth surrounding the death of an Irish citizen in Bolivia, and it doesn't serve the author well to upset Michael's friends and familhy more without more facts coming to mind. As for his tatoo, you can link a tattoo to anything, it is like going on the internet and diagnosing your own disease. There is not anywhere near enough evidence to conclude that Michael's tatoo was 'Nazi' linked. Also, very disappointing to see this article use the News of the World and the Mail on Sunday to back up things about Michael Dwyer.

author by Upsetpublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dwyer had an SS tattoo
Dwyer was friends with self described white nationalists
Dwyer was working for Florez, who'se history is well documented

There is no doubt but that he was a fascist thug himself. If he succeeded in killing anyone in a democratic and socialist country, he would have brought such shame to me and many other decent Irish People.

His family played the "don't upset us" card one day, and in the Sun newspaper appeared the next day to spread distortions upon the facts surrounding his squalid business in Bolivia. They can either appeal for silence, or come out with some constructive facts of their own. They can't have it both ways.

The writer of this piece at no time takes the word of any journalist, blogger, or internet poster at face value. Be they Irish Times liberals or Daily Mail opportunists. And finally, I hope you don't apply the same lack of critical ability that you display here to every political, personal, or professional character you deal with in your daily life.

author by Jamespublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 20:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Ryan Tubridy broadcast his show from Bantry on friday. Security to protect the equipment in the grounds of St Brendans Churchthrough the night was provided by IRMS. I wonder how many RTE contracts IRMS have?

author by danenotepublication date Sat Jun 27, 2009 22:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Song about Shell's corporate habits...from 1928!

author by Kev - Variouspublication date Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As requested by the fella from Galway S2S, and ok'd with Andrew - here is a 16 page A5 pamphlet in PDF format. Please print and distribute widely.

The Shadow Over Erris by Andrew Flood
The Shadow Over Erris by Andrew Flood

PDF Document The Shadow Over Erris by Andrew Flood (PDF, 16pp, A5, PDF) 0.75 Mb

Related Link:
author by Andrewpublication date Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:56author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Yesterdays Mail on Sunday had an investigation into I-RMS's African connections yesterday, below I give a quick summary of their findings

Mail on Sunday, June 28 - "Shell and its private army's link with child abducting Nile rebels" by Michael O'Farrell

Turns out we've seen a lot more of Jim Farrell at Erris then the other founder of IRMS, Terry Downes because Terry has been busy down in East Africa where he is the CEO of Narobi based KK Lodgit. Paul Rees its managing director told the Mail that they had "withheld their website due to the risk of exposure to protesters in Ireland."

The Mail was unable to find any evidence of I-RMS Africa which the I-RMS web site used to claim was based in Nairobi until I-RMS took their website offline after the killing of Michael Dwyer, who had worked for them at the Shell compound in Erris, in Bolivia.

KK Lodgit is a cash transit business that is a joint venture with KK Security. KK Security uses ex British or America special forces to head up its operation in each country but the Mail has discovered the Sudanese branch is lead by a serving officer in the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA). Until 2000 the SPLA press ganged children into its army, up to 12,000 of them.

The Mail says that in the wake of the negative publicity following the killings in Bolivia and the sinking of Pat O'Donnell's trawler I-RMS have hired Dan Pender, the former PR advisor for Fianna Fail minister Matin Cullen. Pender public relations have a website at and are located at Pavilion House, 31-32 Fitzwilliam Square.

The Mail has also been looking at the I-RMS accounts and reports that they are inconsistent with claims by Downes to have a turnover of 8 million. In fact not only are the accounts only showing a fraction of this in 2006 the company only paid 600 euro in corporation tax and they paid nothing in 2007! The accounts also do not show any PRSI or wage costs.

The Mail articles uses a cropped version of the indymedia photo of Farrll at Erris (without accredition) which they caption "DARK OPS: I-RMS Jim Farrell was an Army Ranger"

author by ARTY eeeeeeeeeeepublication date Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

andy storey and minisister of energy to debate it all now...

author by dunkpublication date Mon Jul 06, 2009 18:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That RTE talk about Rossport on Pat Kenny last week, bout half hour long:
from here:

author by Andrewpublication date Sun Jul 12, 2009 18:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

First reply/mention that I've seen to this article so far in an O'Reilly paper

The whole premise of the article has already been dealt with in the comments here, I wonder of Clifford was one of the commentators?

author by Mark C - date Sun Jul 12, 2009 19:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I left the following comment under the Michael Clifford article. I'm posting it here in case it is not posted over there.


If you believe that Shell is a "corporate thug" and that the protest grew out of a "genuine movement" and that Shell 2 Sea activists have been "smeared" and "portrayed unfairly" in the "mainstream media" and if you have access to the "mainstream media", don't you think you have a moral duty to speak out on behalf of the Shell 2 Sea supporters and the people of Erris as much as possible.

It is people in the position that you are in that could make a real difference to the campaign.

Mark C

Related Link:
author by Andrewpublication date Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is beginning to be some mainstream media discussion outside of the publications I list on the Bolivia - Shell - IRMS story, the Pat Kenny show is about to have a segment on it. The story has been at least mentioned in both the latest issues of Hot Press and The Village.

The Phoenix of July 3rd throws one interesting bit of information into the post. In the article 'More questions for Shell's Security Company' its reported that an IRMS spokesman revealed that Revesz "workers for a period of months last year and for less than three months this year" which is at odds with the earlier claim that he had stopped working for them in October (when he went to Bolivia.) In the July 3rd Phoenix article IRMS claimed he worked for them up to the point that Revesz's website came to their attention which would have been late April.

IRMS didn't seem to provide dates of termination to Phoenix or exact periods of employment ('period of months' last year could mean anything from 2 to 12). The obvious question to ask is whether Revesz was still working for IRMS while in Bolivia or whether he had quit to go there and then been re-employed on his return?

BTW there is still regular discussion of new developments on the thread linked to at the end of the article

author by Neoliberal Noirinpublication date Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wonder if a trio of Republican Activists were found in a similar part of the world. What would rightwing papers (ahem, that includes the Tribune) think of them? Would they be given the benefit of the doubt like Dwyer. Or, like Willy, Pat, and the rest of the Rossport campaign, would they not.

The genuinely oppressed have never been given the benefit of the doubt. Or common decency. By the likes of Clifford or Pat Kenny.

All we should expect is the jackboot of the likes of Mick Dwyer and Mick Clifford. Ideological footsoldiers, the two of them, for the real problem: the corporate and state forces.

The lazy hack should go back to the irrelevent tittle tattle that characterises his meaningless work. His piece last Sunday is about as well structured and important a piece of journalism as Una Mulally's social diary from the same, tired, and thankfully doomed paper.

author by Andrewpublication date Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:53author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I think there were a few points missed by the S2S spokesperson in the Pat Kenny interview broadcast just now which I list below. Of course this was always going to be a very difficult way to talk about what happened, a segment that was about whether or not it was decent to use a particular image on a street in Galway does not _really_ seem to be the main story here, its shameful that this is the way the mainstream media is coping with its failure to cover the actual story.

Clifford's introduction rolls back considerably on his article, he actually acknowledges that Dwyer was involved in 'shady groups' but is less than honest in saying he can't find anything else, unless we believe he hasn't read this article. And his spin that 'sure don't we all do embarrassing stuff on our holidays when we are 24' seems a little insane in terms of bombing cardinal's houses and planning to start civil wars. PK takes the same angle towards the end of the interview.

But Dwyer isn't the important story here, the IRMS-Shell-Bolivia story is. Here is what I think was missed

a. Kenny got away with implying that Dwyer was the only connection. This was countered by pointing to Revesz but it wasn't just the two of them. At least 4 and as many as 7 or 8 IRMS from Corrib went to Bolivia with the group. One of the men arrested in the hotel at the time of the shooting was one of them. Two or three of them worked for IRMS on returning from Bolivia including Revesz (see my last comment).

b. Kenny got away with claiming there was no connection between Flores and Shell. It should have been pointed out that Shell lost its Bolivian gas pipeline when Moreles nationalised it last year and that Flores was linked to Banco, the major individual shareholder in the Shell pipeline. BY PK's 'whose interests' test they clearly had an interest it the intended civil war.

c. Kenny (and its interesting its Kenny who does all the heavy spin in the interview) got away with painting Flores as a confused and foolish romantic. It needed to be pointed out that 'Journalists without Frontiers' tried to prosecute him for murdering two journalists during the Croatian war, the was a brutal killer and not just some crazed poet.

d. Kenny got away with suggesting that the sinking of Pat's boat made no sense for Shell because it was only bad PR for them. That would have been a good point to outline that Shell had no legal way to remove Pat's boat from the bay, that this had held up the operation last year and resulted in the Gardai arresting Pat on stupid pretexts and then playing 'cat and mouse' to avoid a high court case ordering his release. Shell's interests were in saving the millions that every day Pat remained fishing in front of the Solitaire would have cost. The sinking of one of his boats days before the arrival of the Solitaire achieved this (alongside the arrest on invented 'exclusion zones' and impounding of his two remaining boats). Shell clearly had a very well thought out PR response post sinking which PK repeats (and has said on other shows) which is to suggest that the boat was really sunk by S2S. Multiple comments to that effect appeared on indymedia almost as soon as the sinking was reported.

The structure of the whole segment is very interesting. PK appears to have a reasonably good knowledge of the facts and is using the interview to protect IRMS / Shell by stepping very carefully around them. The 4 points he raises above have nothing to do with the 'common decency' cover Cliffords provides for the operation but PK retreats behind this point towards the end and hands back over to Clifford. Overall a very well managed piece of spin by Shell's friends.

author by Joe Byrnepublication date Fri Jul 17, 2009 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Could not agree more with Andrew.

My sister emailed Kenny after the show and asked him was he not getting enough money from RTE via the tax / TV licence payer, without, it would seem, getting some sort of kick back as well from an oil company. No reply from PK.

S2S should have an agreed number of fully briefed spokes persons who can respond with rapid fire return to what is dished out by a blatantly partisan and agenda driven Kenny.

The man who was speaking for S2S was quite good in what he was trying to get across but his response lacked the neccessary gusto to knock back Kenny. Perhaps calling Kenny's bias and partisanship for what it is on air, might help and then lay out the S2S position.

Having said all that, it is easier said than done in the heat of the moment, but it should be remembered that this is the not the old gentleman type PK that we normally hear.

When this subject is aired Mr Hyde appears and nice Pat takes a hike.

author by Andrewpublication date Mon Jul 20, 2009 10:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The attached youtube video has been identified as Dwyer working in Glengad, he is kneeling on a S2S campaigner who had crawled under the fence. Cathar on says the voice giving Dwyer the instruction "Mick let him get up, secure the area inside and let him get up" is that of IRMS chief Jim Farrell.

Elsewhere on this site Cathar updates the numbers of IRMS who went to Bolivia with Dwyer as "Tiboe Revesz, Elöd Tóásó, Tamás Nagy, Dudog Gabor, (All Hungarian) Ivan Pistovcák (Slovakian) Michael Dwyer and probably Daniel Gaspar worked for IRMS

Now the Maths and Probability of 7 members of a ten man group working for the same company before travelling to Bolivia are ?? % (and some returned also to work for it)

Caption: Video Id: qpFZr_33roE Type: Youtube Video
Dwyers working in Glengad with Jim Farell?

author by Andrewpublication date Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mark Tighe of the Sunday Times has published more details of an interview he did with IRMS chief Jim Farrell on his blog

"Recently Jim Farrell, head of IRMS security, gave me a brief interview in Glengad, Co Mayo, where I got a chance to ask him what he knew about so many IRMS staff getting involved in the alleged Evo Morales assassination plot in Bolivia.

Unfortunately he didn't shine too much light on this topic.
Some of Mike’s (Dwyer) group spoke about doing a close-protection course. He was trained as an engineer. So he was more qualified to get other work when that course didn’t work out and he decided to stay (in Bolivia). Who knows what happened then, as we lost all visibility of him when he left us.”

He links to this article at the end of the piece saying "Much has been made of this apparent right-wing link to IRMS by anti-Shell activists. As Michael Clifford in the Sunday Tribune points out much of this is distasteful and jumps to conclusions about Dwyer and others.

On the Cathar points out that this interview tells us that "Mick Dwyer was a supervisor/ team leader in Glengad. His team was presumably Foireann Cahil. Tibor Revesz was a member of his team" and that as Dwyer, Révész, Dudog and Pistovcák arrived in Santa Cruz together this suggests they were all IRMS Foireann Cahil. Two others who had also worked at the Shell compound in Glengad Elod and Nagy may have traveled seperatly.

Farrell of course uses the interview to suggest that they had all left IRMS employment and had simply taken the decision to travel to Bolivia for a close protection course which fell through. But in other interviews (see main article) he has said that three of them including Revesz worked for IRMS this year. This along with the fact that Revesz site was appealing for volunteers for an expedition to Bolivia in October 2008 (see main article) at the time they went suggest that this 'close protection course' was a cover story. And then there is the speed with which IRMS pulled the references to providing "“special services” and “international armed and unarmed security” after news of Dwyers death emerged. Phoenix reported that IRMS were not returning their calls back when they reported this, I'd guess they have yet to do so and are instead talking to more compliant journalists who seem to forget to ask this and other obvious questions.

I've no idea if the Tighe/Clifford reference to "jumping to conclusions" is meant to be a criticism of the original article (at least Tighe links to it in his blog) but if you reread the section in the light of these latest revelations the article is if anything a little too cautious in pointing to what might emerge and spot on in terms of criticising the media who at that point in time didn't even mention IRMS or Shell by name in the articles on the events.

Also on the thread El Libre re posts a clearer version of the image of Dwyer and Flores posing with a table load of guns and ammunition. In this version an additional detail is visible, the bottom of the sign on the table (which reads happy new year in 4 languages) has an arrow drawn from 2009 to a bullet.

Clearer image, note bottom of sign with arrow from 2009 pointing at bullet
Clearer image, note bottom of sign with arrow from 2009 pointing at bullet

author by xpublication date Tue Oct 13, 2009 22:27author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dwyer 'died from single shot' in Bolivia

Dr Cassidy said that Mr Dwyer had been shot once and that the post mortem carried out in Bolivia was incomplete.

Her findings also contradict those of the Bolivian authorities who claimed that Mr Dwyer was shot six times.

The Bolivan authorities also said that Michael Dwyer had two guns in his hotel room and that gunshot residue was found on him. However, Dr Cassidy said she had no evidence of this.

author by Marlowepublication date Tue Oct 13, 2009 23:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

That's a big hole to be caused by one shot. Does the good doctor see a lot of gunshot wounds I wonder? The extent of her experience in doing Post Mortems on gunshot victims who have already been PM'ed should be explained.

It would be a bit weird if she had found evidence of guns in his room, wouldn't it? How exactly she could have without going to Bolivia and having a root around at the scene of the shootout is not clear. What an odd thing to say.

Once again, sympathy to the family.


author by xpublication date Wed Oct 14, 2009 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy told the court that her post mortem, carried out when the remains were flown home, found Mr Dwyer had been shot just once. She said he died from a single gunshot through the heart.

She said the bullet used, known as a “dumdum” bullet, was designed to cause massive internal damage to the target, literally “stopping them dead in their tracks”. It was rarely used.

Mr Dwyer’s ribs were broken and his lungs were damaged by the single round, which passed through his body.

IRISHMAN MICHAEL Dwyer, shot dead by anti-terrorist police in Bolivia last April, was shot through the heart with a bullet designed to cause massive internal injuries, and he was most likely in bed at the time, an inquest has heard.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy told Dublin county coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty that a postmortem carried out in Bolivia on Mr Dwyer’s remains concluded he had been shot six times when in fact he had been shot once. It had mistaken minor marks for bullet entry wounds.

From the trajectory of the bullet through the 25-year-old Tipperary man’s body it was clear the fatal shot had been fired from “a few feet” away by somebody standing above or over him.

author by MLCCIXVIIIpublication date Wed Oct 14, 2009 16:02author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here's another bit of the Irish Times Article-

Mr Dwyer travelled to Bolivia last November with two Hungarians and a Slovak he had met while a security guard team leader on Shell’s Corrib gas pipeline project in Co Mayo. The men were due to take part in a bodyguard course in Bolivia but when the course did not materialise the men Mr Dwyer had travelled with to Bolivia returned to Ireland.

One of them, Tibor Resves, introduced Mr Dwyer to a Bolivian of Hungarian origin, Eduardo Rózsa Flores. Mr Flores offered Mr Dwyer unspecified security work and Mr Dwyer stayed on to take up that work.

The Bolivian authorities believe Mr Flores was being paid by Santa Cruz businessmen to begin an armed struggled to secure independence from Bolivia for Santa Cruz. The anti-terrorist police in Bolivia moved in on the men’s hotel in Santa Cruz on April 16th last, killing Mr Dwyer, Mr Flores and another man.

author by Andrewpublication date Fri Nov 20, 2009 17:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A fairly detailed account of new facts is at

from this

Another key piece of evidence presented by Soza was a video shot on a mobile phone showing a conversation between Rózsa, Dwyer and Magyarosi. According to reports, the audio is of poor quality but the words “Titicaca”, “frogman” and “explosive” can be understood. The witness who supplied the video claims that they were discussing a missed opportunity to use a frogman to plant a bomb on a boat carrying the president and several members of his cabinet on Lake Titicaca. The president had recently been on a boat on the lake with other government ministers to promote Titicaca as one of the new natural wonders of the world.

Shortly after the initial raid, police apprehended two other men with suspected links to the plot: Juan Carlos Gueder Bruno, a member of the Unión Juvenil Cruceñista, a quasi-fascist shock troop organisation, and Alcides Mendoza Malawi, both suspected of selling arms to Rózsa. In statements that have raised the political stakes, both detainees and another key witness, Ignacio Villa Vargas, who is believed to have been a local fixer and driver for the group, allege that a list of key civic leaders were involved. They include the recently retired president of the Comité Pro-Santa Cruz, Branko Marinkovic, as well as prominent figures from the business elite and the Santa Cruz prefect himself. Also identified as a conduit for financing of the group was lawyer Hugo Achá, president of the Santa Cruz office of the US organisation Human Rights Foundation. These have denied any involvement and have accused the government of orchestrating the scandal to denigrate Santa Cruz.

Photos of the bodies taken shortly after the raid showed them to have been in their underwear when they were shot, suggesting that they may have been sleeping when the police first entered the building. Initial police reports said that the men were killed following a 30 minute exchange of gunfire. Soza has since made public a forensic report which identified traces of explosives on the hands of the three dead men.
Note that on someone who has looked at the original report says that last line is inaccurate, explosive traces were not found on Flores, just on Dwyer and Arpad

There have been some 30 attacks in Santa Cruz on houses and offices of people linked to the government (including members of congress, ministers, and social movement leaders) as well as some members of the opposition and attacks on the offices and personnel of human rights organisations.

A translation of the Bolivan autopsy report for Dwyer has been posted to the conclusions are quite different from the Irish autopsy report but I've only seen media reports of that one.

author by Andrewpublication date Mon Dec 07, 2009 17:26author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've put together the updates published above with one set of updates that was promoted by the editors to an article and a summary of the Primetime 'Death in Santa Cruz' documentary at

There is a little bit of additional commentary and tidying up added.

author by perscappublication date Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

rte film on yt

Related Link:
author by xpublication date Tue Jan 19, 2010 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Prime Time - Thursday, 3 December 2009

Prime Time - Death in Santa Cruz
Irishman Michael Dwyer was shot dead in Bolivia in April. This programme investigates the events surrounding his death.

author by timshelpublication date Sun Jul 25, 2010 22:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors



author by viva evopublication date Sat Nov 13, 2010 16:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Low resolution version of RTE documentary on death of Irish mercenary in Bolivia. in 5 parts, heres first 2

part 1

part 2

Caption: Video Id: zboPyh7LNuQ Type: Youtube Video
Death in Santa Cruz, 1

Caption: Video Id: GZ_U6z_SHS0 Type: Youtube Video
Death in Santa Cruz, 2

author by Viva Bolivia librepublication date Sun Dec 19, 2010 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Bolivian prosecutors have charged 39 people over an alleged plot to assassinate President Evo Morales and launch an armed rebellion last year.

They include opposition politicians and a former general who captured the guerrilla leader Che Guevara in 1967.

The most prominent politician charged is Branco Marinkovic, a business leader and former head of the opposition Civic Committee of Santa Cruz, who is in exile in the US.

Related Link:
author by Michael Dwyer + WikiLeakspublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Two recent articles in the Irish Times after new material came to light regarding Dwyer and his adventures in Bolivia as revealed from recent files from WikiLeaks...

- Dwyer 'second in command' of group, says cable (January 6, 2011)

A BOLIVIAN government minister told foreign diplomats that Irishman Michael Dwyer was the “second in command” of a group of alleged mercenaries, days after he and two colleagues were shot dead by police on April 16th, 2009.

In a briefing at the presidential palace in La Paz, then-minister of government Alfredo Rada also claimed the 24-year-old Tipperary man had “military and security experience”, according to a US diplomatic cable recounting details of the briefing and since published by the WikiLeaks website.

- Dwyer 'lured to death in Bolivia' (Sunday, January 2, 2011)

United States diplomats suspected that Irishman Michael Dwyer may have been lured to his death in Bolivia as part of a plot by the South American country’s own intelligence services.

A diplomatic cable from the US embassy in La Paz quoted a local source as saying the group Dwyer was with had been hired by Bolivian intelligence to mount a phony terrorist campaign. This would then be used to justify the persecution of political opponents of the country’s left-wing president Evo Morales.

The source told diplomats that Dwyer and two other members of the group were shot dead by police in their hotel on April 16th, 2009, in order to “erase tracks”.

- Según Wikileaks el complot contra Evo fue toda una farsa

- Gobierno boliviano rechaza versión de trama terrorista

Michael Dwyer + WikiLeaks = Duped or knew what he was doing
Michael Dwyer + WikiLeaks = Duped or knew what he was doing

author by CVXpublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 17:37author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Knew what he was doing, or at the very least was reckless. No amount of re-posting of that "altar-boy" picture will erase that fact. The "gun-toting" picture of him at the top of the thread gives a more accurate guide to his state of mind while in Bolivia.

author by Andrewpublication date Thu Jan 06, 2011 19:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's possible that the entire operation was a sting, as the US view appears to be from these cables, but while that would be a major issue for the people of Bolivia for people in Ireland the core issues remain what the team of people, who had been providing security for Shell in Glengad as IRMS employees, thought they were doing in going to Bolivia and getting involved with these characters. Who did they think they were working for and what was the connection with the nationalisation of the Shell pipeline in Bolivia, whose co-owner was part of the plot and perhaps the main target of the sting, if that is what it was. Why were people who were openly neo-Nazis allowed to work on the site and produce the memeorbelia we see above by a company, which it would be reasonable to believe, has some expertise in intelligence work. What does this tell us about the pipeline project in Ireland, opposition to which has been very much vindicated since I first published this piece.

When you get into the world of international mercenaries and in particular of mercenaries working for people connected with the oil & gas industry what is really happening is going to be murky, the failed Equitorial Guinea coup of Mark Thatcher and co being another example. Dwyer, given his lack of experience, was clearly a fool to get involved at any level no matter what he thought he was doing - whether he was blinded by ideology, money or machismo is unclear and at this point hardly matters except to his family. To them I would imagine it matters a great deal.

author by Anon C.publication date Tue Jan 11, 2011 21:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I love the way the Irish Times reveals its hand quite openly every so often. It published this editorial today about Michael Dwyer's death:

It contains the remarkable passage
"His motives and that of the Flores group remain a mystery, but an assassination plot against President Evo Morales appears deeply improbable. But, ultimately, that is not the issue. Bolivia has an obligation to the rule of law ..."

I think it's very revealing that the IT is asserting that, as far as it is concerned, it's not an issue that an Irish citizen travelled to another state and joined a group dedicated to fomenting civil war there, aimed at overthrowing the popularly elected government. And, by implication, that it's not an issue for the IT whether Shell's Irish security company IRMS was the recruiting ground for several members of the same militia; and whether their air tickets to Bolivia were paid for by a wealthy supporter of that militia and former co-owner (with Shell) of an oil pipeline nationalised by that government.

I guess some folks just don't do democracy! (or enquiry, or even a half-hearted imitation of same!)

It is amazing to see how the media story has shifted to 'Bad left wing Latin American government kills Irish boy' (they always emphasize his youth) when there are so many other questions to be answered much closer to home. Particularly the IT which would normally be foaming at the mouth in defence of democracy in Burma, Iran or other places where it's officially permissible to defend democracy.

The IT's intellectual gymnastics to justify its bizarre coverage are perhaps best exemplified by the following, almost unreadable, sentence (regarding the family's dossier, which portrayed Michael as naive and good-hearted) "In that it is arguably at its least convincing, not perhaps because it is not true."

You couldn't make it up.

I agree that the Dwyers have a right to know how their son died and to hold his killers to account, and in raising these issues again I would take no relish in sharpening their pain. They have every right to defend their son's reputation as best they can, and if there is some degree of denial there about his true proclivities, that is perhaps to be expected. But the answers to these questions have a bearing on how we all live and on the deteriorating quality of our democracies.

A truly "independent" enquiry would indeed be good to see. Given the interests involved, the low international status accorded to the leftist Bolivian government, and the involvement of the vastly powerful oil corporation Shell, how likely is that?


I'll quote the editorial in full here:


"WHAT HAPPENED in room 457 in the Hotel Las Americas on April 16th, 2009, is still quite unclear. What is beyond doubt is that a group from an elite Bolivian state police force, Utarc, led by Capt. Walter Andrade, entered the room in the hotel in Santa Cruz and shot dead Tipperary man Michael Dwyer. Beyond that, official Bolivian and family accounts of events continue, a year and a half later, to diverge irreconcilably and alarmingly.

"From the start, Dwyer’s family has challenged police and government versions and despair of getting a credible, let alone any, explanation from the prevaricating Bolivian authorities. Now they have asked UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Philip Alston to support their and the Government’s demand for an independent international inquiry into his killing and that of his two companions, group leader Croat Eduardo Rozsa Flores, and Hungarian Arpad Magyarosi. Their call deserves strong, urgent diplomatic support.

“There was no shoot-out just a cold-blooded execution,” the family dossier for Alston insists, backing its case with plausible independent testimony that demands explanation: from hotel staff casting doubt on suggestions of an exchange of gunfire or of hot pursuit; from video evidence of the belated appearance of mysterious bullet holes in the corridor, suggesting tampering with the scene, and of prior contact between Andrade and Flores; of Andrade’s own involvement with a bombing that provided an ostensible excuse for the raid; of inconsistencies and absurdities in official accounts; and from Ireland’s State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy on the “incompleteness” of the Bolivian autopsy and evidence that four out of five bullets hit Dwyer when he was on the ground. The report also quotes Bolivia’s ombudsman questioning the “lack of legality” surrounding the raid and police “excesses”.

"The family’s dossier is understandably sympathetic to Dwyer, painting him largely as a naive, good-hearted young man involved in an adventure that he did not fully understand. In that it is arguably at its least convincing, not perhaps because it is not true. His motives and that of the Flores group remain a mystery, but an assassination plot against President Evo Morales appears deeply improbable. But, ultimately, that is not the issue. Bolivia has an obligation to the rule of law and, in international law, to demonstrate that its police did not simply tear up the rulebook. And the Dwyers have a right to know how their son died and to hold his killers to account."

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Wed Jan 12, 2011 11:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Was just another expendable 'useful idiot' for the back-room boys. The IT spinster-in-chief, and her PD/Tory poison, are more relevant to the mismanagement of the Oirish branch of Anglo/US G(l)oebbelisation of manufactured and managed consent. They will never be short of planks,its cabinet-makers like Madam they value. There was a brief deviation from traditional toryism when Conor Brady did his editorial shift, but that has been rectified and normal service has been resumed. Control the paramaters of the debate and the outcome should conform to the desired result.
Nothing new under the Sun, as rupert might say.

author by Christinepublication date Wed Jan 12, 2011 18:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Spinster-in-chief, eh, Opus? I thought society had evolved beyond judging women by their attachment or lack thereof to a penis-wielder. Thirty years ago that would have been deemed a crass and infantile comment. Today, words fail me. Put it away boy, grow up and grow a pair. There's lots of things wrong with the IT that its editor can be held accountable for without resorting to shite like that.

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Jan 13, 2011 12:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I was referring to Madam's yarn spinning skills. Dont get yer trousers twisted. There is no shortage of male spinsters working at the same corporate loom.
Your response says more about your preconceived ideas than mine. I dont know the first thing about her personal life, and dont give a shite either.
She can sleep with the fishes anytime she wants.

Yours is the sexist presumption, this time, not mine. Look up spinster and check the derivation.

author by linkerpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2011 08:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Claim Venezuelans took part in raid in Dwyer case

Dwyer’s family will today hold their first meeting with Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore as part of their campaign for an independent international inquiry into his death, a move opposed by the Bolivian government.

Last December the Dwyers submitted a report to the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions in which they say eyewitness and video evidence, along with autopsy and ballistic reports, contradict the Bolivian government’s claim that their son was killed in an armed confrontation with police.

This month Dwyer’s family will update their submission with the findings of leading UK forensic group Keith Borer Consultants, which concluded after a review of the evidence gathered by the family that Dwyer’s bedroom “had been staged to give the appearance of crossfire between the police and the deceased”.

In their revised submission to the UN’s rapporteur, the family say this conclusion, “in addition to the findings and conclusions of Irish State Pathologist Dr [Marie] Cassidy, show without any doubt whatsoever that Michael Dwyer was unarmed and executed by members of Utarc”.

Since the police raid on the hotel, the Bolivian authorities’ version of events has been severely undermined by the steady exposure of inconsistencies in official accounts.

author by Damien M - PWpublication date Wed Sep 28, 2011 09:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

If you go around South America, posing with gunslingers and getting up to no good then you can't expect the local peelers to treat you as anything else.

author by chavistapublication date Thu Sep 29, 2011 06:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Claim Venezuelans took part in raid in Dwyer case"

Yes the usual attempts to smear hugo chavez. The imperialists smell blood (and oil of course!)

author by Andrewpublication date Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The trials are now underway and Toaso is saying Dwyer was captured and executed . reporting

"But a Hungarian arrested in connection with the plot, Elod Toaso, told a court yesterday that Dwyer actually survived the shootout and was arrested but later executed, Bolivian media said today.
Toaso has been in prison awaiting trial for four years. The government says he set up a team of mercenaries to kill Morales, the vice president and a senior representative of the La Paz government in Santa Cruz."

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