Clare Fianna Fáil Senator Timmy Dooley, has called on the Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan to extend the just transition funding to West Clare communities to offset the economic impact of the downsizing of the MoneyPoint Power Station.
Senator Dooley raised the issue with the Minister in the Seanad commenting, “Moneypoint’s presence no doubt secured our electricity supply across the state, helping in no small way the growth of the Irish economy from the doldrums of the late eighties.
“There is scarcely a village in county Clare that there isn’t an employee that had worked at some point in Moneypoint. It was a real driver of the local economy.
“Climate change has effectively changed everything and our recognition of the harmful effects of CO2 emissions from the burning of coal has changed our outlook and the way we live our lives.
“We must assist communities who have invested so much in infrastructure that is not climate friendly and none more so than Moneypoint and the west Clare area.
“I am asking you Minister to extend the just transition funding to meet the needs of those communities, who at the direction of the state built their lives, had their families, built their homes, set their dreams and aspirations in those villages and towns in that area. €77 million has been provided for by the EU between 2021 and 2027 and I want to see that money extended to the area.”
Senator Dooley also commented that he would like the ESB to play a greater role and put together an action plan that would look to the potential of the plant in terms of capturing wind energy off the western seaboard and whether there is the potential to have a gas electricity generating facility there with carbon capture and storage.
“We as a state need to act to provide the appropriate funding to help those communities to transition away from the burning of coal to finding more opportunities in the green energy sector” concluded the Senator.