Gormley accused of FF-style double-speak

ON August 4 the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley, issued a directive, under EU regulations on birds and natural habitats, aimed at protecting special areas of conservation and special protected areas from potential damage and disturbance caused by quad bikes and scramblers.

Quite rightly the minister insisted that people should be allowed to “find recreation in the enjoyment of undisturbed nature”.

What then are we to make of the minister’s recent decision to grant Royal Dutch Shell permission to erect two large drilling platforms in the special protected area of Sruth Fada Conn estuary in north west Mayo for the purpose of drilling 80 boreholes?

The company is currently seeking permission from An Bord Pleanála to construct a tunnel under the estuary, through which it plans to run a high pressure, raw gas pipeline from the Corrib gas field to the refinery at Bellanaboy. Mr Gormley’s decision to allow the company carry out exploratory work flies in the face of his commitment to allow for the “enjoyment of undisturbed nature”. Royal Dutch Shell presents a far greater threat to the special protected area of the pristine Sruth Fada Conn estuary than that posed by quad bikes and scramblers. Double-speak is a well known characteristic of Mr Gormley’s partners in government. It would appear he has become more Fianna Fáil than Fianna Fáil themselves.

Stewart Reddin

Rathmines Road


Dublin 6

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