Before leaving office, the Fianna Fail Minister for Energy, Pat Carey, signed the key consents for the much disputed last section of the Corrib gas pipe line. This action stands as a testament to a party that has spent the last 14 years in direct service to big business interests.
The decision to sneak this through in the covert manner it was done is to bypass any further public or legal objections to the revised route that was approved by An Bord Pleanala in January. An Taisce is currently seeking a Judicial review of this decision as it believes it to be in breach of several EU directives.
Socialist Party TD for Dublin West, Joe Higgins, said, “this is just outrageous and it is grotesque that a Government whose credibility has been shattered and that has been utterly disowned by the Irish electorate would make such a momentous decision”.
Fine Gael’s Leo Varadkar gave a clear indication of how little the approach to the Corrib gas project will change under the new administration when he defended the actions of Pat Carey and Fianna Fail.
It is estimated that there is the equivalent to 10 billion barrels of oil and gas off the west coast alone, worth in the region of €540 billion – these vast resources should be used to end mass unemployment and deal with the economic crisis.
As Joe Higgins TD said, “the Socialist party and the United Left Alliance will be strenuously campaigning in the Dail and outside it for these natural resources to be brought back into public ownership and developed with public investment”.