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Natural Gas In North Tipperary – Bord Gáis Not to Blame

Bord Gáis is ready and willing to introduce natural gas to major North Tipperary towns, but a lack of Government commitment is hindering this initiative.

On Wednesday last Bord Gáis Chief Executive, Mr John Mullins, addressed the Oireachtas Communications Committee, of which North Tipperary Fine Gael TD Deputy Noel Coonan is a member.

Responding to Committee’s questions on Wednesday morning last, Mr John Mullins stated:

“We have identified 73 towns where we could introduce natural gas but only four were successful.  At the end of the day, we do not make the decision on what towns get connected. Only four out of 73 towns in our most recent study got connected and it is fair to say Thurles was not far off the mark. I have no problem in laying pipes in North Tipperary and providing cheaper energy than current existing energy arrangements. The CER take our submissions and decide what we can and cannot do. I have no difficulty in bringing gas to towns if the body politic want that to happen. We did put our best foot forward.”

Following the meeting Thurles.Info spoke to Deputy Noel Coonan, who stated:

“I asked John Mullins whose fault is it that Thurles, Nenagh, Templemore and Roscrea are still without natural gas and the CEO went out of his way to confirm that Bord Gáis want to lay pipes in these towns but the Government and Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) have the final say in these matter. Bord Gáis has the engineers, the staff, the resources and the willpower needed to push ahead. Of course they are eager to do so as it would mean more customers for them but there is no financial commitment or Government support.  Natural gas recently came to Tipperary Town and I question if this was influenced by having a Government Deputy residing in the constituency. We need to bring gas to these North Tipperary locations, to lower the cost of energy and to help support people in their existing jobs. It is clear that state funding is needed to deliver gas to these towns.  Will the Government rise to the occasion and ensure there is competitive infrastructure in rural areas like these? I will continue to pressurize Minister Eamon Ryan on this matter.We do not have a natural gas pipe supply in the four main towns in North Tipperary and this is not satisfactory and is part of the reason why the north of the county is being left to decay.”

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