Safety Before LNG
Exposing the truth about the Hess 'Shannon LNG' project
Negative Effects on the Shannon Estuary
Nevada LNG Explosion

Licensing Process - LNG Terminal

Planning Permission for Shannon LNG Terminal

Submission by Shannon LNG supporter Michael Finucane of Finucane's Bar, Ballylongford at the An Bord Pleanála Oral Hearing.

Day 1:

MR. MICHAEL FINUCANE: Michael Finucane. Ballylongford Bay Oyster Growers Association


MR. M. FINUCANE: Hello, my name is Michael Finucane, Chairman of Ballylongford Bay Oyster Growing Association and, also, past Chairman of the Irish Shellfish Association and I would like just to comment on the submission by Johnny McElligott, regarding the detrimental affect that this proposed LNG terminal would have on the oysters. We have been growing oysters there for the last 30 years and we have found that they are completely compatible with aluminium. Money Point, Tarbert Island and also the ships that come up and down the river, we have never found any trouble regarding pollution or regarding background aluminium levels. They are tested every month by the Department of Marine and we have never had any problems or we can't see any foreseeable problem with this proposed LNG terminal. So, as regards the oyster growers, we welcome this development to the estuary. Thank you.

INSPECTOR: Thank you. You have some questions, Mr. McElligott.


MR. J. McELLIGOTT: May I ask some questions. How many oyster growers does he represent? And have all the oyster growers raised the same concerns or non-concerns as him? Considering that there are going to be 108 million gallons of water, chlorinated and discharged into the Shannon daily?

MR. FINUCANE: I represent what oyster growers are in the bay. We produce 60 tonnes per annum. It is tonnage we go by.

MR. J. McELLIGOTT: Okay. So they have no environmental assessment on the exact affects on oysters; is that correct?

MR. FINUCANE: We did studies with BIM, and state fisheries board, and we did seminars and we went to different management lectures on how to handle the oysters, and we can get a print out, if you like, of the readings of the test every month. There are not detrimental affects whatsoever on the oysters. I have never seen Mr. McElligott down in that bay in my life and I can't see how he can speak for the oyster growers. I have never seen Mr. McElligott until about two months ago anyway, so I couldn't hardly see him there in the last 30 years.

MR. J. McELLIGOTT: I am not speaking for the oyster growers, I just want to know did they do a specific test or environmental assessment impact on the oysters from this particular project?

MR. FINUCANE: They did not on this, but they are done regularly by the Department of the Marine every month for background aluminium readings due to the proximity to Alkan. And we have not found any increase in the aluminium. That's an existing facility. This facility hasn't come at all yet, so we can't do an impact when it isn't there. Thank you.

INSPECTOR: Can I just ask you do the outfalls from Money Point and Tarbert have a similar affect?

MR. FINUCANE: They have no detrimental affect whatsoever. In fact, if the water temperature increases the oysters grow better. Because they are pacific oyster and they are indigenous to the Pacific Ocean. They are not the native oysters we are farming at all.

MR. J. McELLIGOTT: What if the water temperature decreases?

MR. FINUCANE: If it increases they will grow better.

MR. J. MCELLIGOTT: And if it decreases what happens?

MR. FINUCANE: It decreases in winter naturally.

INSPECTOR: Are your oyster beds downstream of Money Point and Tarbert?

MR. FINUCANE: Down stream, yes. To the west of all those Facilities

INSPECTOR: Right. Okay, thank you. The other gentleman here.

Day 5:

MR. FINUCANE: Michael Finucane. Just in reply by the way for the record. I would like to reply to Dr. Downey there and his history of the place. I can trace my family back to the 1780's, they are part of the landbank. But there was a few omissions by Dr. Downey. There was 28 Celtic families dispossessed on that land in the plantation of Munster. He also forgot to mention about the decimation of Carrickfoyle Castle, the seat of the O'Connors, by General [inaudible] on Palm Sunday, 1690. I have reason to believe it was the first...(INTERJECTION).

MR. INSPECTOR: Sorry, could you speak a little bit more clearly, I think our stenographer is having difficulties.

MR. FINUCANE: By the decimation of Carrickfoyle Castle, the seat of the O'Connor's Kerry, in 1690, Palm Sunday, it was the first time that gun powder was used in Ireland. General[inaudible] was one of the Generals [inaudible]. They also sailed up Ballylongford Bay and they sacked the Franciscan Friary at Lislaughtin and murdered and looted the Franciscan Nuns. Three of the nuns escaped and they were caught over Glencloosey, practically near where the actual terminal is proposed. They were spotted by the soldiers and their ears were cut off. And that's how the name of that area is called Glencloosey to this day, for years. It is easy to glance over history, if you want to go back far enough you can pick what you like out of it. But history should be told as it happened. That's all I can say.

Day 6:

MR. FINUCANE: Michael Finucane, Ballylongford Enterprise Association.

I would just like to make a few comments on Ms. Sinnott's submission regarding the estuary. If I can recollect when she canvassed our area of North Kerry her mandate was handicapped and autistic children and the mandate of the rest of the people at the time, MEPs, was to create jobs and bring employment into employment black spots, but as the previous speaker said I didn't see anything positive coming out of Brussels -- I didn't see anything positive coming out of Brussels from Ms. Sinnott's last four years there and I don't think she is speaking on behalf of the people that gave her the mandate to go to Brussels, the mandate she maintained which was handicapped and autistic children. There are a lot of people from our area who are very displeased with her and they should be here today to let it be known, but that is her prerogative. If she seems to be taking the side of vested interest on other agendas that's fine, but I would like to remind Ms. Sinnott that North Kerry and Ballylongford and Tarbert in general has been a black spot and that land bank was put in place by the State with taxpayers money to create employment and bring much needed jobs to the area. I am getting tired listening about these troops in Shannon and American companies and all this, only for America we would ate one another here on this side of the country for the last 150 years since the famine because that's where all our forebears went, most of mine did anyway and I am sure that more people here. I would welcome it with open arms and I am living there. A lot of them are retired at home with pensions out of the States. 60% of our ingrowth investment in Ireland is United States investment so people should take a harder look at things and get the facts. As I said previously at a meeting a number of years ago, they were talking about the Shannon Estuary and the scenery, I said the people can't eat scenery, it comes down to that. It's the bread and butter issues that we go by in the real world we are living in, not in this airy-fairy world that these people seem to be living in. Thank you.

INSPECTOR: Thank you, Mr. Finucane. Can we stick to the planning issues please.

MS. SINNOTT: Just as a quick response. I think I was very clear in my election leaflet that I would be very concerned with everything that was of concern to my constituents if I were elected and certainly I have a huge interest and have trojan work in the area of disability, but that is by no means the sole job of an MEP. I would like to say if I were thinking and acting as a politician I wouldn't be here today, I would do the Pontius Pilate and stay away, but there is a truth to be told about something that is dirty and dangerous, counterproductive for jobs and destructive of the environment and that's why I became today, whether it's popular or not. Thank you.

INSPECTOR: Thank you, Ms. Sinnott.

Ms. Griffin.

MS. GRIFFIN: Hi, Catriona Griffin. I just want to ask Mr. Finucane how many jobs the local politicians who are living in the area have brought to the land bank? Secondly, I would have to commend Kathy Sinnott for coming here today because out of 27 local councillors in Kerry, we had one make a brief appearance on Monday and none of the other 26 have shown up to speak for either side. Thank you.