Adams call for all-Ireland gas development
BY ROBBIE MacGABHANN
Speaking in Mayo this week, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP called for the establishment of an all-Ireland gas ring and a state-owned gas and oil exploration industry to keep benefits and profits in Ireland.
Adams said ``The nation's natural assets, such as the Corrib gas find should be used to improve the quality of life of our people and not to line the pockets of international resource speculators.
The nation's natural assets, such as the Corrib gas find should be used to improve the quality of life of our people and not to line the pockets of international resource speculators
``Like Norway, Ireland should have a thriving state-owned gas and oil exploration industry, pumping millions of therms of gas and barrels of oil into pipelines and tankers, creating thousands of jobs and generating multi-million-pound profits for the people of Ireland.
``Instead we have a Dublin government that has given away our offshore oil and gas resources to multinational companies, some of whom will not even employ Irish workers on their drilling rigs! Foreign exploration companies are exploiting huge commercial oil and gas finds while the Dublin Government has abdicated its responsibilities to develop these resources.
``Sinn Féin believes that now is time to build an all-Ireland ring that would link not only Dublin and Belfast but also Belfast to Derry and back into the 26 Counties to Letterkenny with spurs to the Border regions and south to Sligo and back to Galway.''
``All the different energy ventures taking place highlight the need for a coordinated all-Ireland development strategy. Such major infrastrucutural developments should not occur in isolation. They should be developed in conjunction with a proper all-Ireland strategy for electricity and building the vital digital cable hubs necessary for `new economy' enterprises.''
``The experience in Ireland is widely different from that in Norway where the government started its own oil company (Statoil), hired its own rigs to drill for oil and charged other companies taxes of up to 75 per cent royalties for the right to drill oil and gas. Now the Norwegians have billions of pounds in oil revenue invested in their domestic economy and thousands of jobs both offshore and onshore.
``It seems that they read the part of the 1919 Democratic Programme which states, `It shall be our duty to promote the development of the nation's resources.' The Dublin Government has forgotten this and the line that promises that this is to be done `in the interests and for the benefit of the Irish people'. ``