Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gas issue lies in ownership

The following letter appeared in today's (June 22) issue of the Sligo Weekender. It was response to a letter published in the same paper on June 8 from the Mayor of Sligo Labour Cllr Jim McGarry. His letter can be read by clicking here

PLEASE allow me to respond to Cllr Jim McGarry's call (postbag June 8) for the Corrib gas to be piped to Sligo, which ignored the key issues at the heart of the dispute over that gas.

Firstly, the gas is not being brought ashore yet as Shell's plans to build a highly dangerous pipeline carrying raw, unrefined gas through a small north Mayo community have been rightly resisted.

The gas should be refined at sea in line with best international practice.

Secondly, under the current circumstances, the Irish people will secure no benefit from this gas as the rights to it have been shamefully given away to Shell.

Indeed, any talk of price stability for the gas is nonsense, as Shell have no obligation to sell the gas back to us in the first place, and even if they do, they can charge whatever price they want.

As Cllr McGarry pointed out, extending the gas network to Sligo requires a once off Dublin government subvention of €39 million, which has been ruled out.

However, the simple solution is to nationalise these valuable resources, extract them safely and use the wealth generated to benefit all the people on this island.

More than 500 billion euro worth of natural resources lies off our shores. If these valuable resources, which rightfully belong to the Irish people were nationalised, the cost of extending the network to Sligo and other regions would not be an issue and could not be used as an excuse as is currently the case.

éirígí have repeatedly asked those seeking to bring this gas to Sligo to publicly call for the nationalisation of our oil and gas. To date, they have refused to do so. They have also refused to explain why.

Once again, éirígí challenge those campaigners to publicly justify their reasons for refusing to support a simple and just demand that would benefit all the people of this island.

At a time when savage cutbacks in income and public services are being imposed, if they are content with this giveaway to multinationals of hundreds of billions of euros that could be used to create economic prosperity for all, then Cllr McGarry and the others need to explain to the public why that is so.

Gerry Casey
éirígí Sligeach


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