Sinn Fein TD for Cork East Pat Buckley has raised serious concerns over the potential impending closure of Whitegate Oil Refinery.
Whitegate is the only refinery in the state, and was sold by the then Fianna Fáil government in 2001 for €100 million.
Teachta Buckley said:
“At a time of considerable worry around energy security and coming out of very difficult economic times this is not a good development for the state.
“Whitegate Oil Refinery was privatised in 2001 by Fianna Fáil and went on to make tens of millions of profit per year in private hands. Now as the government is warning of energy shortages in the near future, we are faced with the possible closure of the refinery.
“There are also jobs at stake which would be a huge blow to the local area.
“Sinn Féin is fully committed to transitioning away from fossil fuels, but the reality is we will still need oil for the next few years as greener alternatives come on board. We don’t know how this closure will further impact our energy supplies.
“I am calling on the Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan to make a statement on this issue, to meet with representatives and to begin seriously discussing a plan of action to protect jobs and energy security for the country.
“If we need to use state supports or re-nationalisation to protect our energy supply, then these conversations need to happen now.”