Disrupting or revealing the truth?
In Sligo today is stated that campaigners did disrupt the meeting before questions could be asked.
Here some facts.
FFI did attend the meeting. The stop the (EPA) study was addressed. The chair informed the public that there was a meeting in Dec. by GEAI with the ministers , the EPA, with result that the study had been stopped.
Some Irish campaigners have been trying in the past week to get an official statement from the Irish Department of Energy confirming that this study has been stopped as GEAI is claiming.
The Department has since not been able to provide any such statement; the study has not actually been officially stopped but put on pause. The Stop The Study campaign is therefore far from over.
Think this is worth clarifying, as GEAI’s press release may give the wrong impression to those not familiar with the situation.
Martin Kenny (SF) Stop the Study: , ‘I shaved this morning, I stopped, but I can start shaving tomorrow again. You can stop something, but you can start again’
A campaigner after 1 ½ hour (so everyone could have had they say) stated:‘There have been close meetings in the Dail last Dec. between
Aedin (former FG councillor) GEAI, Eddie Mitchell (member FG), Love Leitrim, the minIsters and the EPA to announce that the study was stopped AT THE START OF THE ELECTION’
Comment by Teresa:
This is quite simply a misrepresentatation of the events of this public meeting, I attended the meeting which was promoted as a debate on local candidates views on Hydraulic Fracturing in the constituency, with an opportunity to discover candidates track record on the issue and for members of the public to ask questions. Sadly nobody from the audience had any of their questions answered, and I had the distinct impression that it was only the easily answered questions tthat were going to get an airing. As soon as any challenging questions or statements were made the audience were either ignored or the answer to other non relevant questions were tackled instead. To describe what happened as a deliberately disruptive group is ingenuous in the extreme. Many people were calling for there questions to be answered including a local councillor, and eventually one woman was literally silenced for asking for clarity on a particular area, as the chair caused a halt quite unnecessarily. The questions pertaining to weather the EPA study had actually been halted or was this just an election stunt by Fine Gael supporters was the main question that the organisers seemed anxious to avoid. Now for the audience to be painted as anarchic speaks volumes about this failed publicity stunt.
More finegael white washing aedin is fooling nobody this time!
I have to agree with the statements above, Ineke from Fracking Free Ireland asked where the statement from the department announcing the study was stopped was the only answer forthcoming was that it was read on ocean FM. Who told ocean FM? No answer! What is the point of a public meeting which gives the public an opportunity to ask questions if the process and objectives behind the meeting is not transparent, and questions pertaining to that transparency are cause to close a meeting?. I am sad to say it very much appears that the campign is being manipulated from behind the scenes by those with vested interests on a political level.
Meeting disrupted before questions could be asked
Twelve candidates attended a hustings event in Manorhamilton on Saturday 13th organised by Love Leitrim.
All twelve from different parties and independents signed the pledge that they would support legislation to ban fracking in Ireland and confirmed that commitment at the meeting. This support included Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin, Fine Gael, Labour, Greens, People Before Profit and Independents.
However, the greatest threat to Ireland from fracking at present, the proposal to commence drilling in North Belfast this week, was not even mentioned or discussed. Before this subject could be introduced, the meeting was completely disrupted by a small group who refused to allow the discussion to continue. The Chairman, Johnny Gogan, had to close the meeting prematurely and it ended in disarray.
“I am very upset that a small number of protesters seem to consider public meetings to be an opportunity for anarchic disturbances for their own sake”, said Dr Aedín McLoughlin Director of GEAI.
“We were there as members of the campaign against fracking, and it was our intention to bring up the Belfast threat, which is really serious and is not getting the attention it deserves. People don’t realise the danger – Infrastrata, an oil/gas company, has issued leaflets to all houses nearby that they intend to come on site in Woodburn Forest this week and start drilling an exploratory well over a mile deep, exactly as Tamboran proposed in Belcoo.
Dr McLoughlin continued, “The site is 400 yards from a water reservoir serving 2,000 houses in Carrick-on-Fergus and North Belfast.”
“Yet there is little publicity around this. One candidate I spoke to after the meeting was not even aware of this proposal. Sinn Féin, who are an all-island party, have not issued any public statement in Leitrim on the situation and in the North, have not issued any statement of concern at the Stormont Assembly. At our meeting, they kept referring to their Party policy as opposing fracking. Is this policy only South of the border?
“Infrastrata (the oil/gas company) say that this well will not be fracked. This is quite possible – it is an exploratory well. However, if they find oil or gas, there is absolutely no guarantee that fracking will not commence – and hundreds of wells could be fracked. In addition, this drilling is due to start without a Waste Treatment Plan in place. Why is the Northern Ireland government not stepping in, as it did with Tamboran? Why are the main political parties not preventing the drill? All these questions should have been asked at the Hustings but unfortunately, were prevented from so doing.”