Wednesday 10 December 2008

Brosnan voices grave concerns over gas terminal

ACTOR Pierce Brosnan, 55, has come out in support of a group opposing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal development near Tarbert, Co Kerry.

The James Bond and Remington Steele star has written to Kerry County Council’s planning department describing the Shannon LNG proposal as “gravely serious” and calling for a review.

An oral hearing into an application by Shannon LNG for a 26km pipeline that would connect a terminal in Tarbert with the national gas grid, at Foynes, Co Limerick, was held by An Bord Pleanála last week. The company gave firm assurances about the safety of the pipeline, saying risks to people living along the overland route were “insignificant”. They also said the pipeline was up to An Bord Gáis standards.

However, the 007 star, whose late father, Tom, came from Tralee, claimed the €500 million project had been fast-tracked and piecemealed. He also said no coherent assessment had been undertaken of the serious and significant risks to public health and safety.

In a letter, also signed by his wife Keely, Brosnan said the project demanded the utmost scrutiny and review.

The couple have already supported a successful campaign to prevent an LNG project from going ahead off the west coast of California, where they live.

After a four-year campaign and lengthy hearings, the plan was eventually vetoed by California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Brosnans claimed the project would have polluted the community in violating air quality laws and posing serious risks to public health and safety in California.

Meanwhile, Johnny McElligott, of the Safety Before LNG group — the main opponent of the Tarbert proposal — last night said the Shannon LNG issue was “not over by a long shot”. He said there would be at least two more oral hearings and an application for a foreshore licence.

Irish Examiner

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