Irish oil and gas exploration company Providence Resources have been granted a foreshore license to search for oil in the Kink Basin off the coast of Dalkey, Dublin.

The move has brought the Government under fire as local campaigners and environmental groups such as An Taisce are asking how the license could have been granted without a proper impact assessment test.

According to the Irish Independent, the drill site is only 6km from the shore and an Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the Department of the Environment predicts that a major spill off the coast of Dalkey would travel 6km in just an hour.

Richard Boyd Barrett, a Dun Laoghaire People Before Profit TD, called the move and the lack of impact assessment ‘an absolute disgrace.’ Speaking to the Irish Independent, he said, ‘There has never been a case in Ireland that a company has found oil with an exploratory license and then not been granted an extraction license’.

Serena Connor of the Protect Our Coast Campaign reiterated this stance claiming that the public and the environment were not given ‘proper consideration in this decision.’

Environmental groups were also informed and were quick to voice their concern. Speaking to the Irish Times, a spokesperson from An Taisce said, ‘This is the first time that a license with potential major threats of pollution so close to the shore line has been granted’.

William Haderman, editor of claims that the cons outweigh the pros in relation to the approval of the licence. Speaking to the Irish Times, Haderman said, ‘In environmental terms, this project is extremely close to the shore, but in economic terms, it might as well be off the coast of Malaysia. There will be no local benefits.’