Press Release March 18th 2010: FOI
revelation that Kerry Councillor John Brassil earns over €100,000 in
expenses over 5 years from Shannon Development reignites rezoning
information released under the Freedom of Information Act has revealed
that from 2005 to November 2009 Councillor John Brassil received
€109,557.09 from Shannon Development - €87,504 of that figure
being directors fees alone.
Director Brassil told the “Kerryman” Newspaper of September 11 2008:
“I have always acted for the benefit of the people I serve and bringing
500 jobs and a €500 million investment to north Kerry is absolutely
what I’m elected for”.
He never mentioned the thousands of euros he was receiving in expenses from Shannon
Development when he voted to rezone the Shannon Development-owned lands
for the proposed Shannon LNG terminal from rural to industrial without
declaring any beneficial interests.
No strategic assessment was undertaken before the variation to the
county development plan took place in March 2007 in order to rezone the
lands even though the development would have a significant effect on
the Shannon Estuary. The rezoned lands are adjacent to
environmentally designated habitats - including SAC, NHA and SPA zones.
Kerry County Council did not make any mention of the Shannon LNG
project at the SEA screening stage even though Shannon Development had
already received €493,000 from Shannon LNG at least three months before
the rezoning decision took place.
The FOI revelations have now been forwarded to the Standards in Public
Office Commission (SIPO). On July 15th 2009, SIPO, declared that it was
not continuing the investigation any further because a beneficial
interest "must be an interest of the members themselves”.
'Safety Before LNG' criticises recent comments by John Brassil, now
Chairman of Shannon Development, for his call for the Foreshore
Licensing process to be speeded up. "Following the news that he has
received over €100,000 in the last 5 years from Shannon Development,
John Brassil has now lost all credibility of objectiveness in calling
for a Shannon LNG foreshore licence without any strategic assessment
of the Shannon Estuary."
The breakdown of the expenses paid to John Brassil by Shannon Development are as follows: