Concerns Raised Over Fracking Proposal

Representatives from several of Northern Ireland's political parties have expressed concern over a renewed proposal for a fracking licence in County Fermanagh.

The Green Party has called on the Permanent Secretary of the Department for the Economy to safeguard the health and well being of south West residents and refuse a licence for hydraulic fracking in the area.

It comes after Australian company Tamboran submitted a proposal after a failed attempt in 2014.

Leader of the Green Party in Northern Ireland Clare Bailey MLA said: "Tamboran must understand that the people of Fermanagh and across Northern Ireland want to have shale gas left in the ground. Fracking poses a major health risk to local communities with a risk of tremors and chemical contamination associated with drilling.  

"The timing of the application is cynical- coming so soon after a local council election. Tamboran were clearly keen that fracking did not become an issue during the election campaign. The continuing Stormont stalemate also provides an opportunity for drilling firms to avoid accountability and scrutiny.  

"However, the company can be sure that the local community and anti-fracking campaigners will mobilise against this fracking proposal in the same way that they did in 2014. The Green Party NI will back them all the way.  

"The Republic of Ireland became the fourth EU country to ban fracking in 2016. Northern Ireland must not become an environmental waste ground while our European counterparts enhance protections around us.

"The Permanent Secretary must reject this new licence bid, prioritise investment in renewable sources of energy, a just transition away from an economy driven by fossil fuels and protect the health and wellbeing of our communities in the process."
News Image
SDLP Councillor Adam Gannon also expressed concern over the news that the Department for Economy had accepted the proposal as valid.

The representative for the Erne West DEA commented: "When fracking was previously proposed in Fermanagh it was overwhelmingly rejected by the community and the community remain resolutely opposed. Given the environmental challenges we are facing and that have been highlighted by recent protests this would seem to be a backwards step. We should be striving to move towards renewable sources of energy and protecting our climate.

"The SDLP is strongly opposed to the introduction of fracking to Northern Ireland as proven by Mark H Durkan who introduced a moratorium on fracking whilst he was the Environment Minister. Ultimately, legislation is the only thing that can protect Fermanagh and the rest of the North from fracking and I would urge the problem political parties to get back to work and allow a permanent ban on fracking."

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has reiterated her call for an immediate ban on fracking due to the health and environmental threats it poses.

She said the people of Fermanagh don't stand to benefit from the "destructive method" of extracting gas.

"It will line the pockets of multinational corporations, while potentially contaminating ground and drinking water, threatening public health and the natural biodiversity of Fermanagh.

"The creation of sustainable jobs and incomes for Fermanagh does not lie in fracking. The tax from the industry will go straight to the British exchequer and we in the north will still have the same amount in the form of a block grant.

"Fracking will not help our economy, it will only harm our environment. We need to urgently decarbonise our societies. The real potential for job creation and economic growth in Fermanagh lies in the development of clean, sustainable and renewable sources of energy.

"We need to ban fracking in the north of Ireland immediately."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 August 2013
Durkan Clashes With Cameron Over Fracking
Northern Ireland's Environment Minister Mark H Durkan has clashed with David Cameron in the Commons, following the PM's statement encouraging the UK population to "get behind" fracking. Minister Durkan responded by saying agreeing to fracking at present would be "reckless and irresponsible".
17 April 2012
Fracking 'Safe' Says Report
Fracking for oil and gas is 'safe', so says an independent report published today. The controversial process of drilling for gas and oil has come under attack following the acknowledgment that it can cause mini-earthquakes or tremors but a government-commissioned report has given it a green light.
15 August 2019
Local Culinary Delights To Be Showcased To The World
The finest selection of local food and drink produce is to be celebrated over the coming months as part of Tourism NI's 'Taste the Island' campaign. Over 150 experiences feature in the programme for September, October and November that aims to shine a spotlight on the superb culinary experiences available in Northern Ireland.
05 June 2009
NI Queen's Awards Celebrated
There were congratulations all round earlier this week as six local community groups who have received the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service also won praise from NI's most senior politician.
30 September 2013
Rural Minister Rules Out Fracking
Northern Ireland's Agricultural Minister Michelle O'Neill has said that no fracking will take place on any land owned by her department. The announcement followed a question by Minister O'Neill's colleague in Sinn Féin, Phil Flanagan. The scope of the statement includes the Forest Service, which accounts for 30,690 acres.