Today is D Day for submissions in relation to Foras Na Mara’s Application for a Foreshore Lease re an electricity generating station for a 35 year period.
As an elected TD for Galway West I have made repeated representations to Minister Coveney for an extension of time to allow for meaningful consultation.
Unfortunately he has chosen to ignore those submissions and has still not responded notwithstanding that today is D Day.
It appears he has also ignored the submissions made by all the TDs in Galway West in this regard.
Such failure to reply along with the failure in the consultation process to date certainly further undermines any confidence the public might have in the proposed project.
See press release below.
Press Release: 2nd August 2016.
Foreshore Lease Application and calls for Extension of time by all TDs and the public to allow for meaningful consultation simply ignored by Minister Coveney!
Catherine Connolly TD said the failure by the Minister to reply to urgent calls for an extension of time in order to allow members of the public to make submissions in relation to a foreshore lease application is an absolute insult to the people of the area.
Deputy Catherine Connolly said the failure by Minister Coveney to reply to urgent representations made to him to allow an extension of time for the submissions re a foreshore licence by Foras na Mara simply beggars belief.
At a public meeting in Furbo on the 21st July all present including three TDs and a Senator agreed said Deputy Connolly that an extension of time was essential to allow for meaningful consultation.
Moreover Foras the Mara confirmed that they had absolutely no objection to such an extension.
The following morning after the meeting Deputy Connolly said she immediately contacted the Minister’s office to ask for such an extension and to date no reply has been forthcoming.
Such behaviour she said certainly does not help to build up confidence in the process nor indeed does it show any respect for the main stakeholder in this project which is the public.
The application by Foras Na Mara is for a substantially different lease than the one previously held by this organization.
In the first instance she said- the lease sought is for a 35 year period in contrast to the original one of 10 years.
Moreover the project is now being extended to wind energy to include wind mills which again is a significant change from the original wave energy project. Furthermore notwithstanding Foras na Mara’a confirmation that it is a test site, the word test does not appear on the application form.
Deputy Connolly said the public have genuine concerns in relation to both the consultation process and the scale and nature of the project proposed in Galway Bay.
She said she shares theses concerns and has no hesitation in saying that from the beginning the consultation process has been a total mess and unfortunately continues to be.
It is certainly not a way to inspire and encourage confidence in the government’s ability to deliver on renewable energy.
For the Minister to ignore the representations made by all of the 5 TDs in Galway West in addition to the requests b the public for an extension of time certainly further undermines the whole process.
Even at this late stage the Minister should see the sense of agreeing to an extension of time and seek to work with the people in the area.