Wednesday, 26 February 2014
It is clear from my reply that due process has at all times been adhered to, which is most important from everybody's point of view. This is a statutory and legal process and I have no doubt that in discussions between the Taoiseach and the Minister they were well aware of that and they would not do anything that would infringe legislation or proper procedures. I will ask the Minister as soon as I meet him and report back on what the Senator said. There is significant potential in this industry. Two weeks ago I attended an organic trade fair in Germany and the opportunity to export organic fish all over Europe - and, in particular, to Germany - from Ireland stood out a mile. The Senator is from the west and Senators regularly refer to job creation. A total of 500 jobs could be created through this project - 350 initially and 150 more downstream. If they were on the way for my constituency, I would welcome them. We have to be mindful of job creation in taking decisions. That is why it is important that we do everything properly and I have no doubt that contacts between the Minister and the Taoiseach are always above board. I will report back to the Senator regarding the questions he posed.