Release 23rd April 2010: Foreshore Licence given without
SEA proves double standards in Ireland and condemned as Legal
Corruption and a breach of the Public Trust Doctrine.
It has been confirmed by the Department for the Environment that
Shannon LNG has been awarded Foreshore Licences for the marine aspects
of the proposed LNG regasification terminal at Tarbert, despite
findings by the EU Commission that a Strategic Environmental Assessment
(SEA) should first be undertaken on the project because more than
10,000 people were affected, and without any public hearing on
Minister John Gormley had confirmed to us orally at the end of March
that he would demand an SEA before deciding on a Foreshore
Licence. This was not done and instead, a decision was made
behind closed doors to deliberately ignore EU Directives, following
what we believe to be intense pressure from the gas lobby. We condemn
this decision as legal Corruption.
We now accuse the Irish government and Statutory Bodies of applying
double standards in the implementation of EU Direcitves in Ireland.
Small farmers and ordinary consumers are hounded into obeying a
plethora of rules while large oil and gas companies can pollute at
We also accuse the Irish Government and Statutory bodies of a breach of
the Public Trust Doctrine enshrined in Articles 40 to 45 of the Constitution where there is
a duty on the State to protect public property for the benefit of the
people of Ireland - not a large gas corporation, Hess LNG, registered
in the offshore tax haven of the Cayman Islands.
Ireland must exercise its powers consistent with the Public Trust
and cannot accede to the demands of private interests over the state's
responsibility to its citizens as enshrined in the Constitution.
Equally, lands below the high water mark should not be appropriated by
or conferred upon private individuals or companies for purely private
benefit in a manner which is detrimental to the safety and wellbeing of the people and the state.
International, in March 2009, in a study funded by the Irish
Government Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, found that
in Ireland, “personal relationships, patronage, political favours,
and political donations are believed to influence political decisions
and policy to a considerable degree." This “legal corruption”, as
Transparency International terms it, is the root cause our grievance because we believe that a political decision was made to
site the LNG terminal on the southern shores of the Shannon Estuary
and now the development consent bodies are only “ticking the boxes”
to give permission for this terminal without any strategic planning
or concern for the environment or health and safety of the thousands
of people living within the danger zone of this development.
Hess LNG still require a licence to pollute from
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) , whose director
general, Dr. Mary Kelly, has already been quoted in the 'Irish Times'
of October 9th 2008 as stating:
"Strategic Environmental Assessments
(SEAs) would have to be imposed on all major projects, while the State
must comply with EU environmental legislation".
Hess LNG also requires confirmation from the EU that it will be allowed
an exemption from regulated third party access to the proposed LNG
terminal for 25 years.
Click here for the deparment's decision on the Foreshore Licence.
Click here to download a history of the Landbank from the Kerry's Eye
journalist who opposed the Smelter in the area 30 years ago, but
who now wholeheartedly supports an LNG terminal. (7.5 MB)