I could be wrong on this but my interpretation is that the oil refinery known formerly as Whiddy Island can take quite large vessels.
There were numerous locations looked at around Ireland's long coastline, some with excellent berthing facilities. Also they have land banks attached to them, which would solve the problem of having to sterilize land around the storage facility from a development point of view.
The constraining factor with many favourable sites though, is the road infrastructure from those sites to the main centre of consumption in the country - Dublin. A pipeline from Whitegate refinery in Waterford is another option, with the possible sterilisation of land somewhere west of the capital city. But the prospect of shipping large quantities of oil from Whiddy Island to Dublin by road or possibly rail doesn't look economical or environmentally feasible.
When you weigh up a lot of factors, a location for oil storage somewhere at Dublin port is still the best option. A full debate needs to happen about this though. That is one of the reasons why it is useful to have the Greens in government or represented in the Dail. Because they are good at this longer time frame kinds of issues. Especially, given the fact that in Ireland most voters worry about the potholes in front of their own house entrance when they go to polling stations.
The man who fixes those potholes is normally the man who gets a seat in Kildare street. The man who ensures the pothole stays fixed, stays in even longer. Jackie Healy Rae perfected this strategy. He pay even hold patents on his invention, I don't know. But it works time and time again.
It is time now that Ireland grew up a small bit. Otherwise we could find ourselves paying a toll charge simply to bring oil into the critical Dublin market. The whole oil business is being run on a shoe string in this country at the moment. An overall strategy is required. It is too vulnerable to attack by outside investment. You only have to look at the state of the telecommunications industry in Ireland to understand what I mean.
That is my major concern about Liam Carroll's Irish Ferries shares. They represent a considerable 'bargaining chip' in solving the situation longer term, in a 'best value' way for Ireland. The government must move to tie them up, before they fall into the wrong hands again. It is ten times more important than a national airline at the moment. A national airline is a symbol of a country's pride in itself for sure. But Michael O'Leary would be willing to provide capital for the national airline, if the government is short of money to resolve the Dublin port situation.
We proved on the M50 the limitations of the public-private partnership process, as far as strategic development of the capital is concerned. We still have Dublin Airport Authority making the lion's share with retail rents and airport charges. That would remain in the Irish taxpayer's full control. I cannot see why Ireland should have to pay toll charges to import it's own oil. That is what sickens me.
Along with the fact that Dublin Docklands authority put some much of their money into the Ringsend bottle factory site.
I know that 'oil and fossil fuels' aren't the Green's cup of tea, but I believe Eamon Ryan can see the bigger picture - globally, not only on a national scale. As price per barrel rises, Ireland will go further afield, even to South America if necessary to source its supply. That will of course add to shipping costs. (which are minimal at the moment, as it comes from the west coast of Britain) Shipping costs would be offset if possible, by the use of larger tankers.
Brian O' Hanlon