Kerry councillors vow to reject programme for Government over Shannon LNG stance

Both the Fine Gael mayor of Tralee and the Fianna Fáil Cathaoirleach of Listowel say they will not support the programme for Government because of the stance on Shannon LNG.

The likely sacrifice of the 15 year-old liquefied natural gas terminal project, Shannon LNG, near Tarbert in North Kerry, was described as “a very dark day for Kerry and the entire region” at a meeting of Kerry County Council.

The Fine Gael Mayor of Tralee Jim Finucane recalled a history of “all-party” support for the project.

Mr Finucane said “on the basis” of Shannon LNG not going ahead, he could not recommend the agreement. He had sought that it be left out of negotiations for Government and be left to the planning process.

The Cathaoirleach of Listowel, councillor Jimmy Moloney (FF) issued a statement saying “ there is absolutely no way” that he will support a proposed Programme for Government that does not include the development of the Shannon LNG project. He said the loss of the project "will not only deny much-needed employment to a region completely ignored by successive governments, it will also hinder both the region and the country’s future development".

Kerry County Council’s history of support for the project over several years and across party, was recalled at the meeting where the minutes of that of May 29 last were amended to reflect that a resolution had been proposed and had been seconded in support of the project.

The resolution sought that it not be part of any political negotiations for government, and as a new application was being lodged it should be left to the planning process.

There seemed to be “some queries about what was said about the project in the meeting of the May 29", Mr Finucane said.

In “reiterating the council’s support for this project” he had moved the resolution asking that it be moved off the table, and that was his clear recollection.

Elements “on the fringes of the project” were questioning the council’s support for the project, Mr Finucane added.

However down through the years there had been “all-party deputations” to ministers, to officials of the department to the offices of the energy regulator and the former Taoiseach, he said.

The move to amend the minutes was seconded by Cllr Moloney. The mayor of Kerry Niall Kelleher stated the minutes were to be amended.

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