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Ireland ‘at the mercy’ of UK for gas supply this winter

A leading MEP warned that Ireland could be cut off if there is a shortage of gas in the UK this winter.

Ofgem, the UK’s energy regulator, has warned that there is a “significant danger” of natural gas shortages as a result of the conflict in Ukraine. This has caused alarm in Ireland which imports about 70% of its gas via the Moffat Interconnector pipeline.

Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fail MEP from Ireland South, stated that “We’re at their mercy in terms of supplying gasoline.”

“It is clear that we must have some agreement with the UK government, and with UK gas suppliers so that we can still get gas in case of shortage. This makes us extremely vulnerable.”


Ireland is the sole source of natural gasoline for the country. It supplies about 30% of its needs and is expected to decline over the next decade.

The Irish coalition government, especially the Green Party, opposes the importation liquefied natural gases (LNG). This is because it links to fracking and Ireland does not have any LNG terminals or storage capacity.

Sky News’ Mr Kelleher stated that “we do need a lot of work in terms of gas storage” and the ability to import gas through other means.

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“Primarily LNG is our only source of gas, so we don’t rely on any gas companies from the UK or the British government, which are having difficulty sourcing enough gas for their country.”

Concerns about Ireland’s gas supply security are exacerbated by a rising cost of living and concerns about the future of energy prices.

Ballina is located about an hour from Bellanaboy Bridge, the gas terminal where Corrib gas is piped to shore.

Olive O’Donnell, the community center’s coordinator, is busy preparing dinner for 40 people.

Image Olive O’Donnell is the chair of Ballina Meals on Wheels

Ms O’Donnell reveals that their energy costs have risen to EUR300 per month (PS264) as the turnip, bacon and cabbage dinners are wrapped in shrink wrap and the apple pies are plated.

She can also see the effects of the hikes on the elderly.

Sky News is told by her that they are “really, really worried”. They are stretched to the limits. Fear, fear, they are there.

“They say to you, “Oh, we will survive the winter. Will we have heat?” Will we be able keep ourselves warm

Helen O’Connor, 88, receives her meal at the hands of one of the volunteer drivers across the River Moy. She is originally from Yorkshire and has been living in West Ireland since 1985. She worries about how much it will cost to stay warm.

Image Helen O’Connor, 88, receives dinner at her Ballina home in Co Mayo

She said, “I don’t move very fast so I don’t keep warm very fast.”

“So, I tend to add an extra layer [layer of clothes], then another one, and finally a blanket. It’s not easy.

“I am trying to be as economical as possible on myself, from all points of view, not only for my bill but also for the sake of the planet. I will not use more fuel than necessary.

Mark Duffy, the mayor of the town, said there was “huge concern and concern” in his community.

“Ireland has a very open economy. We are therefore vulnerable to energy supply. He said that this is why we must focus on a future in which we are self-reliant and have sustainable solutions. However, it is a shock to people that we rely on the UK for our energy supply.

The Irish government wants to minimize the risk.

Eamon Ryan, Environment Minister spokesperson stated that “the Moffat Interconnector” will be treated in an emergency situation in Great Britain the same way as the distribution network in Great Britain. This is also what the National Grid has indicated.

Image Cllr Mark Duffy is mayor of Ballina

Gas Networks Ireland, a state-owned company, has two pipelines that supply a large portion of Northern Ireland’s natural gas. This would complicate any attempt to cut off gas supply.

John FitzGerald, an adjunct professor of economics at Trinity College Dublin, was a former member the Northern Ireland Authority for Energy Regulation. He told Sky News that “continuing supplies to Northern Ireland would require cooperation from the Irish government even though supplies to the Republic were cut off.”

“Thus, I would anticipate a collaborative solution to any – unlikely- need to ration gasoline.”

The alarm does highlight the urgent need for Ireland’s energy diversification, especially as the Corrib gas field yield is expected to decrease over the next decade.

Ireland will continue to rely on British gas supplies to meet its vital energy needs until it can harness more alternative energy or adopt a policy that allows for the importation LNG.


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