Update regarding the possibility of mining in Connemara and the application for a prospecting licence in a number of locations, including the Roundstone/Ballyconneely area.
Today I received information from Minister of State Seán Canney with responsibility for Natural Resources at the Department of Communication, Climate Action and Environment that it has been decided not to grant a prospecting licence over the area 930 i.e. Roundstone/Ballyconneely area. The refusal arises from the failure of the applicant company (MOAG) to provide sufficient information to support its application.
The Company was asked for additional information following the consideration, by the Exploration and Mining Division of the Department, of the submissions received from the public. No response from the company was received by the deadline and despite the Department extending the deadline slightly, no information or acknowledgment was received.
I appreciate and understand the concerns that many people expressed regarding the possibility of mining. I have always felt that the process of application and assessment was robust and would yield a fair result. The application was to prospect only, not to mine. An application to mine would be made to Galway County Council and would have involved an extremely detailed level of environmental study.
I am on record as saying that I felt any application to mine would be extraordinarily difficult to justify considering the environmental and infrastructural constraints present in Connemara. I think this outcome allows us to have faith in the application process which got us to this point.