Following pressure from Galway politicians, Local Government Minister Simon Coveney, has finally agreed to extend the public consultation period for the Marine Institute’s plans involving renewable energy testing on Galway Bay.
The public consultation period has now been extended from Tuesday August 2 to Friday September 9. This extension follows on from two previous extensions granted in June and July. Galway TDs, particularly Independent Catrherine Connolly and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh, were demanding the submissions period be extended, and were, as late as this morning, accusing the Minister of “ignoring” and failing to reply to their requests.
Fine Gael Galway West TD, and Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources, Seán Kyne, also demanded the extension of the public consultation period “on several occasions”, and he welcomed today’s development. “I am glad Minister Coveney has taken on board the concerns,” he said. “Today’s extension means that up to 15 weeks will have been provided to interested residents and organisations to examine the plans and have their say.”
However the 15 week extension is far short of the four to six month extension Sen Ó Clochartaigh requested from the Minister last week. Dep Kyne though said it is still “significantly more than the standard 21 days”.
“Minister Coveney is concerned about unintended consequences a longer extension could have on other vital projects such as those contained in the Rebuilding Ireland housing programme,” said Dep Kyne. “I am confident that the extension will provide ample time and opportunity for people to have their say on the project.”
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