[Sinn Fein]

12th August 1999

Huge Gas find has been given away - Ó Caoláin

Reacting to confirmation from Enterprise Oil and Gas that they have discovered a huge gas field off the Mayo coast Sinn Fein TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has said that unless the Irish government acts swiftly the full benefit of this resource will be lost to the Irish people. Deputy Ó Caoláin said:

``Successive governments have given away our natural resources to multinational companies. This gas field off the Mayo coast is the most blatant example with Enterprise Oil allowed to control and profit from what looks set to be one of the most lucrative energy sources in Europe.

``This State has the lowest tax on oil and gas profits at 25% and claims no royalties for oil and gas sold out of Irish wells. Enterprise Oil has also refused to employ Irish trade union labour on their rigs.

``I call on the government immediately to establish a Special Task Force to determine how this find can be of maximum benefit to the Irish economy and especially to the West, Border and Midlands Region. The government must ensure that the Irish people enjoy the full benefit of this energy resource in terms of direct energy supply and increased taxes and royalties on the massive profits which will accrue to the British multinational company, Enterprise.''ENDS

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