The former chief executive of Bord Gáis, John Mullins, who is the executive chair at renewables firm Amarenco, has said Ireland needs to build a liquified natural gas plant in Shannon to secure the gas supply and reduce reliance on the UK for supply post-Brexit.

Shannon LNG aims to develop a liquefied natural gas receiving terminal on the  Shannon Estuary near Ballylongford and Tarbert in Co Kerry.

Mr Mullins, who is also the chairman of the Cork Port Company, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that without the LNG plant at Shannon, Ireland will have no indigenous source of gas once the Corrib supply depletes.

He said Ireland would be completely dependent on gas coming from two interconnectors in the UK, which is leaving the European Union at the end of this year.

Mr Mullins said that gas is needed as a back-up to assist renewable energy sources to build capacity and reach the 70% target for renewable energy.

He said that "if we don't have our own LNG plant there is no assurance, we won't be using fracked gas" as the US delivers fracked gas to plants in the UK .

Mr Mullins said that his concern is that if we ban the trade of fracked gas from the US, they could retaliate and ban Irish dairy imports.

He said Ireland would then end up importing fracked gas "through the back door" from LNG sources in the UK.

He added that Ireland is the only government in Europe with a ban on importing fracked gas.

He said without wind as much as 80% of power in the country comes from gas.

Mr Mullins said that whether LNG is welled or fracked - it will improve the security and  diversity of supply into Ireland rather than being dependant on the UK.

Gas should be seen as a "transition fuel", he said, adding that Green Party leader Eamon Ryan had acknowledged this in the past.

He also said the Shannon plant could be funded privately by international banks and the European Investment Bank.