Monday, June 01, 2009

Some Thoughts on "Spirit of Ireland"

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Some of my thoughts to date
on the position of the
"Spirit of Ireland" initiative.

1. I think the basic idea of a promotion of sustainable wind based and hydro-storage energy future for Ireland is basically an excellent one. It could not only secure our energy and economic future, it could also stimulate the economy and mitigate against the effects of the deepening depression.

2. However, there are not enough leading public figures rowing in behind the idea and fronting a campaign to fire the imagination of the Irish public.

3. Also, there are some serious questions being asked about both the technical and economic viability of the project. The questioning voices come from several respected experts in their respective fields. That these voices are audible means at least that insufficient background consultation and consensus building has taken place prior to launch. In all human affairs, a unilateral approach, no matter how well meaning, can often spark some very negative responses. The negative stuff can be anything from hurt personal or professional egos, to political differences, to vested business interests, and even include some heart-felt beliefs which contradict the proposals.

4. A proposal with such a high price tag and involving every soul on the island of Ireland in deep fiscal, environmental, political, and legal questions, is for the man and woman in the street, like playing high stake poker without having all their cards in view and without a proper understanding of the rules of the game. It could also be likened to being told that you need open heart surgery and not having full trust in the doctors. It is therefore of vital importance that the minds of the people are put at ease by a barrage of technical, environmental, and economic experts all agreeing on the basics - like the surgeons all agreeing on the operation procedure. To date this has certainly NOT been the case.

5. IMHO I think it might be necessary for the "Spirit of Ireland" team to re-invent the initiative in order to bring on board the people and organisations that can persuade the public to support this huge proposal with its vast implications for the future of Ireland.

As I said, I think the basic "Spirit of Ireland" concept and proposal are worthy of consideration. I applaud the initiative that has been taken to date. I would love to see this idea grow and flourish. However, I feel that the gears of the initiative are in need of some serious lubrication at this point in time.


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1 comment:

Graham said...

Tony,

Thanks for your thoughts. All of the points you make have merit.

The technical approach is simple. The scale is significant. I took the decision to be bold with the launch because I believe our incremental approach in Ireland often leads up to do nothing except talk. It may be no different here. In the meanwhile we are working through a very detailed technical and fiscal plan with considerble local consultation. Over the next few months the real possibilities of this project will emerge. Thank you for your comments.

Kindest regards,

Graham
O'Donnell.