[Sinn Fein]

27 March 2001

Martin Ferris meets Minister re Kerry offshore oil rig

`Statoil must land jobs and benefits in Ireland'

Kerry Sinn Fein County Councillor Martin Ferris said that it is crucial that the new Statoil oil rig exploration due to begin off the Kerry coast in May ``brings jobs to Irish-based workers and benefits to the Irish people as a whole, not just to the oil company''.

Cllr Ferris was speaking after attending a meeting with Marine and Natural Resources Minister Frank Fahey at Government Buildings in Dublin along with SIPTU Vice-President Jack O'Connor and members of the SIPTU Offshore Committee, Chairperson Joe O'Toole and PRO Padraig Campbell.

The proposed oil-field to be drilled is Sarsfield Prospect in the South Porcupine, off the coast of Kerry.

Cllr Ferris said it had been a very productive meeting and the Minister is arranging for SIPTU and the Offshore Committee to meet the Irish Offshore Operators' Association to press home their case.  He said:

``It is crucial that the Irish people see the maximum benefits of the extraction of Ireland's natural resources in terms of jobs for Irish-based workers and exchequer returns to finance community development initiatives across the island but in particular to regenerate and sustain communities in the West of Ireland.''  ENDS

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