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Ratings downgrade for Ireland despite huge Corrib gas reserves

By John Donovan

It is sad to see that the “Celtic Tigers” credit rating has today been downgraded by Moodys to Aa2.

“Today’s downgrade is primarily driven by the Irish government’s gradual but significant loss of financial strength, as reflected by its deteriorating debt affordability,” said Moody’s lead analyst for Ireland Dietmar Hornung. (extract from Irish Times Article)

Ireland is unfortunately another country where corrupt politicians sold off valuable national hydrocarbon assets to unscrupulous oil companies for a pittance.

In 1987, in a move described as “economic treason”, Irish Minister for Energy, Ray Burke,  abolished all royalties on petroleum and natural gas extraction. Burke was later convicted and jailed on charges arising from political corruption in office.

Protesters against the controversial Corrib gas project allege that the astonishing deal made by Burke, which exempted Royal Dutch Shell from paying royalties for gas extraction, was corrupt.

The Irish national interest was disregarded.  The local population affected by the Corrib Gas Project project has been left to the mercy of a ruthless and reckless oil giant with an atrocious track record of health and safety violations and leaving massive environmental pollution in its wake.

Ireland is stuck with the debts created by corrupt incompetent politicians, while Shell and its Corrib partners own the valuable gas reserves rightly belonging to the Irish people.

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