Better to leave our oil under the sea than sell it off for a mere pittance

Oil rig
Oil rig

A Eagarthóir, I warmly welcome your article of April 3 under the heading 'Kerry must benefit from oil finds'. It re-affirms the Notice of Motion that I proposed to Kerry County Council meeting of April 2012 (exactly one year ago), which read as follows: "As reliable reports indicate a rich oil source offshore of Kerry, I call on the Government to ensure that Kerry and Ireland will be the principal financial beneficiaries of that great natural resource."

The motion was unanimously agreed and forwarded to Rialtas na hEireann but no positive response has thus far been received.

Ireland's failure to demand from the oil companies much more favourable returns for the State may have been understandable many years ago when there was little knowledge of the extent of the offshore resources of oil and gas. But now that has most assuredly changed.

These great natural resources are the property of this State and it would be immoral to deprive the people of their right to be the principal beneficiaries. It is no longer acceptable for ministers to state that we do not have the finance or expertise to develop and exploit (in the best sense) these vast resources. If we continue with that attitude we will be left with pathetic handouts from the multinational companies who are for far too long accustomed to writing the rules.

Surely the time is now, especially following their Meath East debacle, for the Labour Party ministers to act for the welfare of a bleeding people. Their brave words spoken while in opposition in relation to our use of our natural resources need to be given the credibility of positive action.

If we as a country fail to become the main financial beneficiaries of our own natural wealth then we will continue to export our other great resource - our young people.

Far better to leave the oil and gas under the sea than to have the State receive, as heretofore, a relative pittance.

Mise, le meas,

Michael Gleeson (Cllr),