Councillors hit out at An Bórd Pleanála’s decision to refuse North Kerry LNG terminal

Sep 19, 2023 17:04 By radiokerrynews
Councillors hit out at An Bórd Pleanála’s decision to refuse North Kerry LNG terminal
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Some elected members of Kerry County Council have strongly condemned An Bórd Pleanála’s decision to refuse an LNG terminal in North Kerry.

In August 2021, Shannon LNG Ltd, a subsidiary of New Fortress Energy, applied to An Bórd Pleanála for permission to build a power plant on the Tarbert/Ballylongford landbank.

The planning body refused permission for that project last Friday.


At the full meeting of Kerry County Council, some elected councillors hit out at the decision and said the environment minister's position is untenable.

Responding to an emergency motion from councillor Michael Foley; Mayor of Kerry, Jim Finucane, accused the cabinet of not fighting for the project.

He said by making a submission to An Bórd Pleanála, Minister Eamon Ryan was allowed take a course of action which was detrimental for the county. Cllr Finucane called for Minister Ryan to resign.


Cllr Michael Foley hit out at such a decision being made without the release of the final energy report.

Cllr Aoife Thornton agreed that it’s a bizarre that it would be made without such critical information. She said councillors are suspicious of the decision, adding it was like a judge making a decision without hearing from the main witness.

Cllr Jimmy Moloney says it’s highly frustrating and it feels like the county has been let down.


He urged New Fortress Energy to explore all options and avenues available to them.

Independent councillor, Jackie Healy-Rae, said the decision is hugely significant for energy security of the country.

He said coalition leaders must shoulder the blame and asked what was the position of Kerry cabinet member, Minister Norma Foley.


Sinn Féin councillor Cathal Foley questioned how anyone is surprised by the decision as it was contrary to government policy. He added he didn’t want his name associated with condemning the planning body and their decision.

Cllr Maura Healy-Rae condemned Minister Ryan’s actions, and said having a Kerry TD in cabinet has not helped in this regard. She added Minister Norma Foley must speak out on the matter – as the decision has decimated the economic future of county.

Cllr Michael O’Shea described the LNG decision as a sad day for the county and said the decision is a result of Rural Alliance TDs'  inaction at the time of the formation of the government.


He claims Rural Alliance politicians stood idly by and sat on the fence and let the greens get into government.

Heated exchanges followed in the chambers.

Sinn Féin councillor, Robert Beasley described the decision as the failure of collective governments and said the proof was in the pudding that there was no plan B for the landbank.

Cllr Mike Kennelly said it was unacceptable that a decision was made without the final report, he asked whether there was a way the local authority could get involved in the process and get it up and running again.

CEO of Kerry County Council, Moira Murrell, said the council had previously submitted its opinions to An Bórd Pleanálá , however the planning body have now adjudicated.

She added from here it’s a third party process and it’s not a role for Kerry County Council.

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