The Rural Independent Dáil Group is accusing the government of exposing Ireland to multiple risks by failing to tap into oil and gas resources available in Irish waters.
The Group led by Tipperary TD Mattie McGrath is supporting an application for the development of the Barryroe area off the south coast of Ireland.
The project is not being enabled by Minister Eamonn Ryan. The oil and gas field is a depth of 100m and since the 1970s there have been efforts to develop a commercial operation to bring the oil and gas onshore.
Describing Mr Ryan’s position as short-sighted Deputy McGrath says the “approach intensifies Ireland’s dependence on imports and exposes us to higher energy prices, all while foreign markets prioritise their own interests.”
Deputy McGrath says the government’s ideological ban on exploration overlooks the limited availability of renewables to meet Ireland total energy needs. In addition, the Group say the approach also means that Ireland loses out on tax revenue on potential oil and gas sales from the Barryroe zone.
The Rural Independents want a comprehensive energy strategy for Ireland that delivers a future that is “sustainable, secure, and prosperous for Ireland.”