Speaking in response to the announcement that the government has cancelled plans to export energy from renewable resources to Britain, Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane said the campaign for an All-Ireland energy policy that puts communities first will continue.
Senator Cullinane said:
“Sinn Féin is firmly of the view that if we are to reach our EU renewable energy targets, protect rural Ireland and create sustainable and healthy communities, then we need an all-Ireland approach,
“We have to acknowledge that renewable energy sources are valuable natural resources that belong to the people of Ireland.
“The Government has a duty to ensure any benefit accruing from them benefits the people of the state.
“It is ludicrous to think the Government was planning to cover huge areas of the Irish countryside with monstrous wind turbines so they could export energy to Britain while at the same time people on low incomes here in Ireland are experiencing fuel poverty.
“All of this goes to show how out of touch this government is with the reality of life for ordinary people.
“What we need is a sensible and sustainable all Ireland energy policy.
“Energy policies that destroy the countryside, fracture rural communities, pose serious health risks to people, and do nothing to alleviate fuel poverty are bad policies.
“Sinn Féin has realistic and sustainable energy policies that put people and communities first.
“Next Wednesday in the Seanad we will be introducing a Private Members Bill which will deal with the issue of renewable energy.
“We are calling on Independent and Fianna Fáil Senators to support our bill.
“We need to send a clear message to the government that it must now go back to the drawing board and come up with an energy policy that puts people first.”