Former government adviser to head oil lobbyist

Mandy Johnston, Head of Communication at the Irish League of Credit Unions.Picture by Shane O'Neill / Fennells.

Mandy Johnston, a former government press secretary and adviser to the taoiseach, has been appointed chief executive of the representative organisation for the Irish oil and gas exploration sector.

Ms Johnston, who advised Bertie Ahern when he was taoiseach, will lead the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA) at a time of both unprecedented exploration interest in Irish waters, but also heightened opposition to offshore drilling activity.

“We will make a valuable contribution to the national dialogue and play an important role in the development of the Irish offshore industry and Ireland’s sustainable energy future,” said Ms Johnston.

The IOOA last week reiterated its dissatisfaction with an opposition party bill — led by People Before Profit — targeting a ban on offshore drilling in Irish waters which has progressed to committee stage in the Oireachtas.

The organisation warned the proposed legislation could make Ireland’s energy supply even more vulnerable, tie the country into a future of oil and gas importation, and see the exchequer lose out on a significant revenue stream.

It said the exploration sector has the potential to create 1,500 jobs per annum and deliver up to €11bn to the exchequer from a single commercial discovery.

People Before Profit’s Climate Emergency Bill will go before the select committee on communications, climate action, and environment, where it has significant TD support, on June 11.

More on this topic

Late filing penalty fees make up 37% of Companies Registration Office's revenues in 2018

US property giant set for €530m Irish office sale

Don’t let State spending go up in smoke

Call for action on tax appeal backlog

More in this Section

Nissan unveils prototype for zero-emission ice cream van

LinkedIn announces 800 new jobs, expanding Dublin workforce to 2,000

Web searches for hybrid and electric vehicles up 244% since 2017

ESRI calls for tax hikes to prevent overheating


The history of eyelashes: The tiny hairs that hold huge sway in the beauty industry

Painting found in attic could fetch €150 million

Life in a vacuum: Your guide to choosing vacuum cleaners

Bright ideas: How to wear the summer tailoring trend

More From The Irish Examiner