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Gas-fired station for Bellacorick?
The Western People
Wednesday, April 04, 2007 Gas-fired station for Bellacorick? SIR - “PROPOSALS for the construction of a gas-fired electricity generating station close to the ESB power station in Bellacorick are well under way and a planning application is expected to be filed with Mayo County Council within weeks.”
This was the carrot offer to the people of Erris back in 2001 by the present government to get people to buy in to and support the whole Corrib Gas deal. Who could argue with such a grand, progressive development?
But what has happened since? Erris has lost 200 jobs.
Bellacorick has closed and the proposal has disappeared off the radar. I would suggest that it was never on it in the first place.
Reading the local papers at the time we were told the 30 million euro project would involve some Irish interests but the main promoter would be a Texas based development company. We were told that a Mayo based engineering firm was working on the planning application.
We were told that the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste and Public Enterprise Minister Mary O’Rourke have been briefed on the consequences of the impending closure for the Erris region and are anxious that some replacement jobs be found. We were also told that the building of a new station would be seen as a vote of confidence in the area. Exciting stuff.
We now know, six years later, that we, and I mean the people of Mayo in general and Erris in particular were sold a pup by this government. Bellacorick would have had a great advantage over other possible locations for the gas fired station in that it already had the pylon infrastructure in place and would have been easily connected to the National Grid and should never have closed.
However, the real scandal is that no effort was made to hold the government and Mayo Co. Council accountable on this colossal failing for the people of Mayo. Currently, our ESB networks are unable to power any major hi-tech indusrty due to power “brown outs.”
It is my contention that this issue be placed firmly back on the table when the outstanding safety issues are resolved with local people. If this county is ever to compete with other regions for investment, we need a gas fired power station that will connect to upgraded ESB networks. But more importantly, we need lead-ers with vision.
Yours sincerely Harry Barrett Labour Candidate, Castlebar

Posted Date: 
4 April 2007 - 5:09pm