Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, went against advice from his own department when he refused to issue gold prospecting licences in Mayo.
Ryan had initially indicated that he was in favour of granting rights to prospect for gold and silver at 11 locations near Louisburgh, to a company called Mayo’s Gold. However, after meetings between the minister and environmental activists opposed to gold mining in the area, Ryan decided against issuing the licences last July.
Documents released by the department show that Ryan was advised by senior officials in its exploration and mining division that there was no obstacle to granting the licences. The division said that most of the objectors misunderstood the difference between a mining licence and permission to conduct exploratory prospecting.
Sunday Business Post