A Kerry County Councillor has accused the Minister for the Environment of political interference in the planning process.
It surrounds Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan’s submission to An Bórd Pleanála on the planning application for the Shannon LNG terminal in North Kerry.
Shannon LNG Ltd, a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy, submitted a planning application to An Bórd Pleanála last August for a liquified natural gas terminal on the Tarbert-Ballylongford land bank.
Minister for the Environment and Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan, made a submission to the appeals board on the proposed Shannon LNG terminal in North Kerry.
The Green Party has previously said it doesn’t support the importation of fracked gas, and won’t support any projects that involve this.
New Fortress Energy says fracked gas won't be used if the terminal gets planning permission.
Fine Gael councillor Jim Finucane says Eamon Ryan’s submission amounts to political interference in the planning process.
However, the Department of the Environment is denying Cllr Finucane’s claims, stating the minister was listed as a prescribed body by An Bord Pleanála, and his submission was in response to that.
It says in May 2021, the Government published a policy statement on the importation of fracked gas, which was notified to An Bord Pleanála.
This states it wouldn’t be appropriate for plans for LNG terminals to be permitted, pending the outcome of a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems.
The department says An Bord Pleanála listed the Minister as a prescribed body considered relevant to the planning application, so the Minister wrote to the appeals board last October, setting out the Government’s policy on LNG terminals.
The letter also noted previous correspondence from the Minister and the department to the developers of the project, which had set out Government policy in relation to LNG terminals.