Wednesday, 22 February 2012
Shannon LNG Project
Brendan Griffin (Kerry South, Fine Gael)
I agree entirely with the points made by my colleague, Deputy Spring. The raising of this important matter by four Deputies who represent County Kerry demonstrates how critical it is. The bottom line is that jobs are at stake. A fantastic announcement was made yesterday on the creation of 1,000 jobs in County Louth through the establishment of PayPal. This project is its north Kerry equivalent. A total of 650 construction jobs are associated with the project and there would be a further 100 permanent jobs were it to proceed. Millions of euro have already been invested in it and if it gets the go-ahead, up to €1 billion will be invested in the north Kerry economy. It is a no-brainer and everything possible must be done to ensure it goes ahead. I call on the Minister to take action and do everything in his power to ensure these jobs are created. I emphasise that he must do everything in his power because one of the major barriers to the project has been the lack of regulatory certainty, which he can provide.
As a Deputy representing County Kerry, I would be ashamed if the project were not to proceed. Moreover, Members are not prepared to stand by and let it slip through their fingers because it is too important for those awaiting jobs who perceive it as a ray of hope. Some 17,500 people are on the live register in the county and the project would help to reduce that number considerably. It would alo provide a stimulus for the entire economy of north Kerry and west Limerick. The Minister must, therefore, step up to the mark and do what he can to ensure the project gets the go-ahead and deliver a good news story for County Kerry.