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Carey’s order for Corrib gas pipeline an act of disgraceful political cynicism – Ellis

19 April, 2011 - by Dessie Ellis TD

Speaking in the Dáil this evening Dublin Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis said the Government is quite happy to sell off our natural resources whole failing to seek revenue to help those in fuel poverty.

Deputy Ellis was also described the decision of former Minister Pat Carey to issue an order for the last section of the Corrib gas pipeline on the day that he lost his seat as an act of disgraceful political cynicism.

He said:

“In February just gone, there was an Energy Action conference on fuel poverty. An Age Action speaker at this conference said that the inability to pay for home heating could be contributing to up to 2,000 winter deaths across the state each year. Older people are most likely to be affected and are generally at higher risk of fuel poverty. More and more are falling in to arrears on their utility bills and hundreds of thousands are entering in to payment plans – many of which they still can’t afford. Disconnections are commonplace. Deaths from the cold, while rarer, still are commonplace.

“That someone could be let die from the cold, in this day and age, because they can’t afford to heat their home adequately is a scandal. The government is quite happy to sell our natural resources off the coast of Ireland, while failing to seek revenue to help those in fuel poverty.

“The people of Ireland cannot take any more. The ordinary working people are hurting due to money going to gas companies. It is a disgrace. What Sinn Féin is calling for, is for natural resources to be put in to public ownership in order to realise profit for all the people of Ireland as per the Democratic Programme of An Chéad Dáil.

“Fianna Fáil’s Pat Carey issued an order on the day that he lost his seat and Fianna Fáil lost power for the last section of the Corrib gas pipeline. It was an act of disgraceful political cynicism. He had no political or moral authority to give the go ahead to a pipeline over which many concerns still exist even with the changes made following the Bord Pleanala ruling. The underhand manner in which this order was made proves that even in their dying days Fianna Fáil were doing favours for their friends from the Galway Races. Fine Gael and Labour, having allowed this to continue, have shown themselves to be no different.

“There are still questions to be asked about the conduct of that whole affair. Pat Carey said, before the people of Dublin North West kicked him out of office, that he had not signed the document on a whim, and that the whole process had taken eight months. Yet, the Green Party contradicted this when Eamon Ryan said he had not seen sight nor sound of the documents before he left office. Éamon Ó Cúiv, who replaced John Gormley was adamant that the documents had not come to him either. Perhaps this will be subject to a tribunal further down the road. At the time this was emerging, the then Labour TD Michael D Higgins condemned the action and called for full transparency on any communication between the Department and interested parties. I would hope that his party colleagues will heed his calls.” ENDS

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