Michael D challenged to explain Rabbitte’s decision over oil companies

Labour presidential candidate Michael D Higgins has been called on to explain the decision of Minister Pat Rabbitte to “give away” swathes of Ireland’s natural resources to oil companies

The broad-based Galway campaign supporting Martin McGuinness’ bid for the presidency has called on Mr Higgins to explain why his party colleague “gave away 13 new oil and gas licences from which no real benefit will accrue to the Irish people”.

The group is accusing Minister Rabbitte of “working in the interests of the oil companies to the detriment of the Irish people”.

“Martin McGuinness has made it clear time and again that Ireland’s natural resources should be exploited for the benefit of all the Irish people,” said a spokesperson for the group. “The billions of euro of gas and oil off our shores should be used to revamp our ailing economy.”

Mr McGuinness believes Ireland should emulate the policies of Norway and force the oil and gas companies not only to pay for the resources they exploit, but also to train people so that in the future Ireland can found a State-owned oil and gas company.

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