Critical Gas Incident Poorly Communicated

Some people in the community received a text late yesterday evening with scant information on the critical gas incident. I am furious that people were left in a situation overnight where they did not know whether they should leave their homes or not. People were already aware that Shell had evacuated their own staff earlier in the day, which added to the confusion.

There must be an immediate investigation into these occurrences. Firstly into what caused the incident to happen and secondly as to why local residents were not communicated within a full and timely manner.

Customers of Gas Networks Ireland were also left in a vulnerable situation. The supply of unscented gas is dangerous by the mere fact that people cannot smell a leak or if an appliance has been left on. This is apart from the inconvenience and disturbance caused to households, businesses and crucial facilities such as hospitals and nursing homes where services are dependent on a reliable source of energy.

The question remains – who exactly is responsible? Several statutory authorities and agencies were involved in granting permissions and licences to this project. Now when this happens nobody seems to know where the buck stops.

I have requested that Minister Denis Naughten come before the Seanad on Tuesday afternoon to account for the Government’s role in this debacle.