Twenty-two TDs gathered at the gates of Leinster House in Dublin today to call on the Government to overturn consents granted by former Minister Pat Carey to Shell E&P Ireland on the day of the recent General Election.
Speaking at the press conference, Dublin Shell to Sea spokesperson Caoimhe Kerins criticised Mr Carey’s decision, saying: “These consents were issued in a highly dubious manner on the day of the recent general Election.
“Pat Carey, who was only in the Department a matter of weeks, had no mandate to issue the consents to Shell.
“He was a Cabinet Minister in a Government with minority support and it is scandalous that such a major decision relating to the state’s natural resources should be taken in this way.”
She called on the new Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources to overturn the consents issued by Pat Carey and to renegotiate the licensing terms offered to oil corporations.
“Shell to Sea is calling on the new Minister Pat Rabbitte to overturn the consents issued for the Corrib gas pipeline,” said Ms Kerins.
“The State’s bizarre licensing terms ensures that Shell will pay little or no tax on the estimated €10bn worth of gas in the Corrib field.
“The new Minister has an opportunity to lift the burden of cuts being heaped on working people by renegotiating the disastrous licensing terms and using the state’s vast reserves of oil and gas to invest in public services.”
The TDs who took part were:
Sinn Féin: Gerry Adams; Caoimghín Ó Caoláin; Michael Colreavy; Jonathan O’Brien; Mary Lou McDonald; Aengus Ó Snodaigh; Seán Crowe; Peadar Tobin; Pearse Doherty; Pádraig MacLochlainn; Dessie Ellis; Sandra McLellan; Brian Stanley; Martin Ferris.
United Left Alliance: Joe Higgins; Clare Daly; Richard Boyd Barrett; Joan Collins.
Independents: Finian McGrath; Catherine Murphy; Maureen O'Sullivan; Thomas Pringle.
There were also pledges of support from TDs Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan (Independent) and Seamus Healy (ULA), who could not attend.