Current Account: SHELL E&P Ireland is not known to be shy when it comes to the press - particularly since its extensive shake-up of public relations over a year ago after the 94-day jailing of the Rossport Five. However, one detected a slight coyness within the company this week about the future of its "external communications support".
Up to now this combination of public relations and backroom lobbying has been provided for the troubled Corrib gas project by lobbyists Financial Dynamics (FD), headed by Paul MacSharry, and Powerscourt Media, co-founded by Irish journalist Rory Godson. However, FD's three-year contract is up, and Shell confirmed to Current Account that the PR company had asked "not to be considered" for any new consultancy arrangement.
Shell says it is "still in the process" of appointing an alternative, but the successor is believed to be Q4 Public Relations, run by former FF press handlers Jackie Gallagher
(ex-Irish Times and Bertie Ahern's advisor from 1994 to 1998), Martin Mackin, along with Angie Kinnane, formerly of FD, and Gerry O'Sullivan, Eircom's former director of corporate affairs.
With some State consents still to be secured for aspects of the project, it would appear Shell is still banking on FF in power after the general election.
© Irish Independent