"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.”
In a recent speech to the Dáil, Dempsey said this.
''I have previously outlined the three different optioms available to us to exploit our natural resources. Firstly we can leave the resources untouched; secondly, we can choose to spend taxpayer's money on offshore exploration; or thirdly, we can licence the private sector to do so.
Is anyone seriously suggesting that we leave our natural resources in the ground untouched?... Or is anyone saying that the State should gamble taxpayers money? The remaining option left to the State is to license the private sector'' Noel Dempsey, 4/10/2005.