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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said he had no evidence that Russia is a threat to Ireland’s renewable energy supply. Sasko Lazarov/

No evidence Russia is a threat to Irish renewable energy supply, Eamon Ryan says

The Climate Minister also said one of his ambitions was to see Ireland achieve fibre-optic connectivity with the European continent.

THERE IS NO evidence that Russia is a threat to Ireland’s renewable energy supply, Eamon Ryan has said.

The Minister for Transport and Climate also said one of his ambitions was to see Ireland achieve fibre-optic connectivity with the European continent before he leaves office.

The Green Party leader was responding to a question about whether he had concerns that Russian naval activity off the south coast of Ireland was a threat to fibre-optic cables and the renewable energy infrastructure.

“It’s not that there’s any specific threat or kind of analysis, but you can’t ignore the fact that the Nord Stream gas pipeline was blown up and that the Baltic interconnector gas and fibre-optic connection was also taken out this year,” he said.

Ryan said this was it was important the Government delivered an energy security package.

He added: “One of the projects I’d love to leave office having delivered in this Government would be fibre-optic connectivity … from Ireland to Portugal, Ireland to Spain, because all our fibre-optic connectivity currently comes in, east-west, comes in from the US and goes through the UK.

“We don’t have direct fibre-optic connectivity to the continent. The interconnector with France will change that, so we’ll have fibre-optic connectivity, but actually we’re going to go further.

“This is quite big thinking but this is where we’re going – fibre-optic connectivity to Spain and Portugal which can then connect to South America and fibre-optic connectivity to Norway.

“And also (we are) even looking at fibre-optic connectivity from Ireland to Japan, through the northwest passage and over the other side. That sounds a bit science-fictiony or a bit mad, but that’s actually within reach.

“And that fibre-optic connectivity is as important as the energy connectivity because that gives you security when you’ve cables going in different directions. You are less at risk if a warship wants to cut one.”

Ryan also said he was supportive of Tánaiste Micheál Martin’s plans to deliver a national security strategy.

“We particularly need to invest in our navy and in the radar system,” he said.

“We don’t have a proper radar system to measure what’s happening in our airspace and in the sea area, which is seven times our land area. And we also need to make sure that we’ve naval patrols, which can be fully crewed.”

Asked if he believed Russia had an interest in Ireland’s renewable energy supply, Ryan said: “I don’t have any evidence that they do, but they do patrol the Atlantic and we have to be able to patrol as well.”

Press Association