Fianna Fáil has welcomed the confirmation today that ensuring full and proper use of our natural resources will be a core focus of the Oireachtas Committee on Communications, Energy & Natural Resources.  It follows calls from Fianna Fáil’s Éamon Ó Cuív, first made in his amendment to a private members motion on natural resources in April.


Deputy Ó Cuív, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, today said: “I have been saying for some time that the Oireachtas Committee is the perfect forum to allow a full examination of how we can harness the potential of our natural resources in a way that ensures the maximum return to the Irish people and that is safe for communities and for the environment.


“On the 19th of April last, Sinn Féin tabled a Dáil motion in relation to natural resources. The time allotted to the debate is one and half hours.  I tabled an amendment to the motion at the time, suggesting that this matter be referred to the Oireachtas Committee on Energy & Natural Resources to facilitate a full examination of the real worth of any oil on our shores.


“I called for a six month examination of the facts and provisions to allow the committee to invite before it all the necessary experts and interested parties it wishes to question.  We must establish once and for all the worth of these resources and the best way to exploit them in the interests if the people. This thorough analysis should also examine ways that the Irish State could get involved directly in certain facets of this work. Our focus at all times must be to get the full potential from our natural resources on behalf of the taxpayer.


 “I have perused this issue vigorously since the Oireachtas Committees were established and I am delighted that it has now been given absolute priority for the Autumn. I believe a full examination can be completed within six months. I am calling on the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte not issue any more gas and oil exploration licenses until the investigation is complete and he has received our Committee’s report.”