ifsa wind power hot air

IFSA Chairman, Cormac Burke has called Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan’s statement on wind power “benefit” for marine sector a load of hot air

In a scathing attack on Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan TD, Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance Chairman, Cormac Burke has called planned for offshore wind farms “a load of hot air” after the Minister claimed wind power would be of “benefit” to the marine sector.

In an editorial comment today, the IFSA Chair said that the Environment Minister’s claim that Ireland was “well positioned to support the drive away from fossil fuel for our energy security, climate and economy” and went on to add that increasing Ireland’s wind energy production would be beneficial to all Irish sectors, including the marine.

“Ireland’s demersal fishing fleet would be forgiven for scratching their heads in disbelief and failing to see where the benefit for them will be as they watch area after area, from the east, southeast & west, west and northwest coasts, being authorised with plans for establishing various types of wind farms,” writes the Cormac Burke.

“Perhaps the plan is to, after decommissioning, get more vessels to stop fishing so they can be hired as guard vessels to watch over the construction of wind farms going on the very fishing grounds where they used to make a healthy living from?”

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The idea that offshore wind power will bring cheaper energy for Ireland is a “joke” says Burke. Ireland will lose valuable fishing grounds, but he sees the offshore wind energy boom, but he compares it to the great oil and gas sell offs. He says, “practically all of the wind farm licences seem to be to non-Irish energy companies and within less than a decade Irish people will be paying a non-national energy company for the pleasure of having the use of what is actually an Irish resource.

Not alone does he call the ORE boom a “joke” he also takes aim at the promised “windfall tax”. He says:

“While doing their best to paper over the fact that the permits are going to non-Irish companies, the coalition government is dangling the carrot to the Irish public with a proposed ‘windfall tax’ on the energy companies and that this money would help the Irish economy – but when was the last time anyone ever saw a few extra bob in their pocket because of even a slight payback from the Government in return for Irish resources that have been prostituted out to other nations?”

He compares the “windfall tax” to the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) Funding promised to the Irish fishing industry post the Trade and Cooperation Agreement.

“As for any benefit to our fishing industry, given that the EU BAR fund allocated some 600 million euros to Ireland to be used as compensation for loss of quotas and not one single cent of it was given to fishermen, then it’s unlikely anyone will see even a euro of compensation for fishing grounds lost to wind energy companies.”

The Green Party leader has come in for public criticism for his blatant detachment from rural Ireland. His “Green” credentials gets called into question under Burke’s microscope. He says:

And all of this ‘benefit’ being talked about by Eamon Ryan – an Environmental Minister who chooses to completely ignore the fact that millions of freshwater eels are being minced by ESB turbines every year while he himself he has played his part in the closing of that once-lucrative fishery in the name of sustainability.

“It chills me to the bone to hear Eamon Ryan talking about any ‘benefits to the marine sector’ – this from the same man who wants to ban rural communities from selling a bit of turf, wants everyone to cycle to work (while he drives a gas guzzling 4X4) and who this week stood up in the Dail and made the earth shattering announcement, as if it was a ‘breaking news’ story that only he had the exclusive to, that people must now accept what he had been saying all along and the increasing energy costs is due to the war in the Ukraine.

“God save us all”.

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Wind power “benefit” to marine sector – a load of hot air says IFSA Chair

by editor time to read: 8 min