Both ESB and Fine Gael have been criticised by Rita McInerney for failing to capitalise on Moneypoint’s potential.
A Fianna Fáil candidate in the upcoming General Election, a date of which has yet to be confirmed, Rita pointed to the ever-nearing Brexit as she voiced her frustration. “The UK Prime Minister’s plan to prevent the British parliament from extending the transition period beyond the end of December 2020 means that a no-deal Brexit cannot categorically be ruled out. Irrespective of whether we are dealing with a hard Brexit or not, a plan needs to be put in place for Moneypoint”.
She felt the site’s location made it “a prime investment opportunity”. McInerney added, “It’s right on the edge of Europe and could operate as the gateway between the US, South America and the EU. The potential is huge, there is over 400 acres of zoned industrial, with a 380-metre jetty, a 25 metre deep port that can take the biggest ships in the world and two 400 KV electricity transmitters connecting across the country.
“With huge delays and restrictions expected on the English land bridge, we should be looking at alternative routes into mainland Europe; Moneypoint could be used as a pivot port for goods coming into and out of the continent. Ireland’s reliance on imported electricity stands to be affected by tariffs from the UK and in order to avoid dependence on foreign electricity sources, we should be developing alternatives like offshore wind – Moneypoint is the ideal location at the centre of the West Coast for this to be developed,” she said in a statement to The Clare Echo.
“To date, Fine Gael has adopted a hands-off approach when it comes to the future of Moneypoint. It has failed to see the potential of this area, and is continuing its policy of ignoring rural Ireland, which while disappointing and frustrating, is not surprising”, the Doonbeg woman concluded.