A YOUNG construction worker this week made the painful decision to emigrate after hearing that a €500 million gas terminal planned for Ballylongford is set to be held up again by yet more Government red tape.
Plasterer Sean Kennelly (24) is now getting ready to follow many of his friends who have already left to work abroad after the Commission for Energy Regulation imposed tariffs that will further delay the long-awaited LNG gas terminal project.
"Leaving Ballylongford is the last thing I want to do but I don't have a choice anymore," he said.
He will follow in the footsteps of Tarbert pipe fitter Shane Lavery. The 28year-old had waited for months and months in the hopes that the gas plant project would begin development. Sick and tired of the red-tape obstacles to the plan, he felt he had no choice but to head to Canada when offered a job there.
His mother Breda said this week the family are heartbroken.
"He was waiting and waiting for good news on the LNG but had no choice but to leave when he was offered a job in Canada. He's a qualified pipefitter and the LNG would be right up his alley. It's devastating news for the whole community," she said. YOUNG people from north Kerry are packing their bags and preparing to leave the country as a €500 million gas terminal project planned for the Ballylongford Landbank becomes mired ever deeper in red-tape.
More young people are emigrating from the communities around the Ballylongford landbank as hopes the Shannon LNG gas plant might be construction in the near future were dashed by Friday's decision by the State's Commission for Energy Regulation to impose crippling tariffs on the company.
Scores of skilled workers hoped to get work building the gas terminal. Now they are preparing to follow in the steps of so many of their friends who have emigrated in recent years.
"Leaving Ballylongford is the last thing I want to do but I don't have a choice anymore," Ballylongford plasterer Sean Kennelly (24) told The Kerryman.
"Over ten of my best friends are abroad already and all of them would come home in a heartbeat if the LNG project started. Emigration is the only option now and I'm thinking of going to either London, Canada or Australia. I'd love to stay, of course I would, but time is running out for me now and I'm sick of waiting to hear of any developments in the LNG.
"Most of the lads I know who are gone are working away in various places but they'd all much rather be at home. If the LNG got going it would make a huge difference to the place," he said.
Tarbert woman Breda Lavery is heartbroken after her son Shane (28) left last week. "He was waiting and waiting for good news on the LNG but had no choice but to leave when he was offered a job in Canada recently. He's a qualified pipefitter and the LNG would be right up his alley. It's devastating news for the whole community," she said.
"Shane is a homebird, but he had no choice in the end. He was fed up waiting on the gas plant and only hearing stuff about the regulator and bad news in general on it. He went up to the jobs expo in Dublin recently where he met with a company called Monad and when they offered him a job he felt he had no choice but to take it. He's in Alberta now and will be moving to Saskatoon soon and he's gone for the long term. It is absolutely heartbreaking," Ms Lavery said.