Cuirim fáilte roimh an Aire. Tá mé thar a bheith buíoch de mar tuigim go bhfuil sé an-ghnóthach, ach is ceist iontach tábhachtach í seo. Tá mé thar a bheith buíoch den Aire as ucht an t-am a thógáil leis an ábhar seo a ghlacadh.
Tá mé ag tagairt don chrith talún a tharla coicís ó shin amach ó chósta Mhaigh Eo. Buíochas le Dia, ní raibh aon tubaist mhór i gceist leis, ó thaobh daoine a bheith gortaithe nó mar sin. Ach cuireann sé imni ar phobal Mhaigh Eo agus ar phobal na hÉireann go dtarlódh a leithéid de rud. Tá mé ag iarraidh a fháil amach cén idirbheartaíocht atá ar bun, nó cén plé atá ar siúl ag an Rialtas maidir le seiceáil a dhéanamh ar phíoblíne gáis na Coiribe le déanamh cinnte go bhfuil sé iomlán sábháilte, agus cén glacadh a bhí ann ó thaobh an staidéir tionchar timpeallachta a rinneadh nuair a bhí an t-iarratas pleanála á dhéanmh dó seo. Cén staidéar a déanadh nó cén chaoi ar cuireadh é sin san áireamh ins na meastacháin a rinneadh faoi na contúirtí a bhí ann maidir leis an bpíoblíne?
I raise the issue of the potential impact of the earthquake off the coast of County Mayo on gas and oil infrastructure off the west coast. We know that this is a very contentious issue and that the rigging is very complicated. There are many potential dangers associated with the industry. The earthquake was unexpected and not predicted. Was the impact of an earthquake taken into consideration when environmental impact statements were produced during the planning process for the gas pipeline in question? The Government needs to carry out an independent examination of the gas well structures, the offshore pipeline and the processing refinery at Bellanaboy to ensure no damage has been done, bearing in mind that the infrastructure is unique. It will be impossible to judge whether there has been damage without an independent inquiry or investigation. We certainly should not just take the word of the oil companies on an issue such as this, as is evident from what occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, etc. They oil can be economical with the truth when telling us how efficient their infrastructure is. Stating very quickly after an earthquake that everything is hunky-dory based on information given to us by an oil company is very dangerous.
Should a stability analysis be conducted on Dooncarton Hill, where there were large-scale landslides a number of years ago? I appreciate this may not be covered by the Minister's answer, but he might revert to me on it.
During an oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála on the gas pipeline, local residents attempted to refer to the potential consequences of an earthquake, in addition to the effects tunnelling under Sruwaddacon Estuary would have on the stability of Dooncarton Hill, for example. These concerns were dismissed and deemed unworthy of consideration. It appears that there are more occurrences such as earthquakes worldwide. The State needs to ensure the safety of the people is paramount. It should not put the wishes of large multinational companies before the needs and rights of citizens and ensure the oil and gas infrastructure is checked in order that we can be assured there is no potential for a disaster in the future. The planning process ought to take into consideration potential occurrences such as earthquakes.
The Minister should clarify again that the work being done had nothing to do with the earthquake happening in the first instance. It is a vague possibility, a long shot, but it is a question that must be answered. People in the local community are asking it.
Fáiltím roimh an Aire agus tá mé ag súil go mór lena fhreagra a chloisteáil.