Griffin cited over intervention call on energy project

A complaint has been lodged with the Oireachtas Ethics Committee against a Kerry TD for urging Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte to intervene with the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) in relation to a proposed €500m project for the Shannon Estuary.

Safety Before LNG — an action group opposed to the plan by Shannon LNG to build a liquefied natural gas terminal at Tarbert — yesterday confirmed it had made a complaint against Fine Gael’s Brendan Griffin.

Speaking in the Dáil on Feb 20, Mr Griffin called on the Mr Rabbitte to “directly intervene” and guarantee the jobs which the project would bring to north Kerry.

The project, which has been beset by delays, would create upwards of 350 jobs during construction and 50 jobs when complete.

Mr Griffin and other Kerry politicians strongly support the project, along with the wider community in north Kerry.

However, Safety Before LNG has described political interference as an attack on the democratic process.

The lobby group claims the project is unsafe, that it would add to air and water pollution and also hinder tourism and industrial development on the estuary.

Mr Rabbitte has clearly stated to a number of Kerry politicians he is prohibited by law from giving a direction, or interfering with the CER in relation to particular projects.

Meanwhile, a delegation from Kerry County Council is to meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny early next month to discuss delays surrounding the proposed terminal.

Last year, the CER put forward a proposal that would see Shannon LNG pay a tariff for Bord Gáis gas interconnectors linking Britain and Ireland.

However, Shannon LNG is not willing to pay for these interconnectors because, it says, it will not use them.

The delegation, including councillors Jim Finucane, Tim Buckley, Liam Purtill, Pat Leahy, John Brassil, and the county manager, Tom Curran, will meet the Taoiseach in April.

Mr Finucane, a Tralee councillor, said the project was now at a critical stage and they were convinced a political directive could be given.

Meanwhile, Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly has described the proposed tariff as unfair.

He called on the Government to facilitate talks between the CER and Shannon LNG.

The tariff effectively subsidised Bord Gáis, Mr Kelly claimed.

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