"The Government have clearly sent the message to Shell, ‘you can do whatever you want’. Fortunately due to protest, the refinery remains unconnected to the gas field. If, as Shell planned, gas had been flowing by now, we would potentially all be dealing with a gas leak and explosion.”
Acting Minister for Energy Pat Carey signed key consents for the Corrib gas pipeline on the day of the general election last Friday.
A ministerial consent to construct the pipeline as recently approved by Bord Pleanála were signed by Mr Carey under section 40 of the Gas Act on February 25th.
He also approved a change to the plan of development for the Corrib gas field. The original plan was signed by former marine minister Frank Fahey before the 2002 general election.
An Taisce has signalled that it is seeking a judicial review of the Bord Pleanála approval last month (jan) as it believes it to be in breach of EU directives.
A foreshore licence approval for pipeline construction in Sruwaddaccon estuary, a special area of conservation (SAC), is also still before acting environment minister Éamon Ó Cuív .
The applications to Mr Carey's predecessor, Green Party minister Eamon Ryan, were lodged by Shell E&P Ireland on May 31st last year.