Once it is broken it can't be fixed

18 May 2016                                                                                           Fracking Ireland Newsalert (7)

Please do support the campaigners.
All support is welcome on the site to stop the drilling

Bus to Woodburn forest: Monday 23 May
call 086 0529873 or 087 7409102 to book a seat


Fracking arrives on the island of Ireland

InfraStrata PLC are targeting the community of Woodburn Forest, Antrim, for oil extraction using the controversial drilling technology being banned across the world.


Fracking is not looming over Ireland any longer.

Infrastrata confirmed in a press release that they started (test)drilling (and call it conventional drilling)...

Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus in County Antrim has become the site of the first operational fracking rig on the island of Ireland. On Monday 16 May InfraStrata PLC began to drill, seeking to confirm a viable oil find which will pave the way for large scale extraction. Community campaigners continue to resist and all support is welcome on the site to stop the drilling while one local mounts a legal challenge.

After 5 years of campaign, it is now time to act!

A bus is organised to Woodburn forest.
We urgently call on all campaigners to get actively involved. It is time to show up. Book your seat now!

We are going to use half of that sponsorship money as a donation to the Woodburn Forest site for what they feel is needed at the camp = €240 The other half will be used in the very near future for another upcoming Woodburn Forest solidarity action."



Bus to Woodburn Monday 23rd - pick up in Carrick / Drumshanbo / Manorhamilton / Enniskillen - call 086 0529873 or 087 7409102 to book a seat

Please get your name down for Bus asap and tell us where you are getting on 

BUS leaving times on Monday morning are as follows.

Carrick on Shannon Fire Station 7.30am

Drumshanbo Mayflower 7.45am

Manorhamilton Bee Park 8.15am

Enniskillen Jollys Pet Shop (Beside KFC) 8.45am

Bus is expected back in Carrick on Shannon at 9.30pm

Very important Bus is filled Fare €10

To book your seat Phone 0877409102 / 0860529873

Site directions:
Directions to Woodburn Forest drill site.
Coming from northwest Antrim ; Leave Belfast bound M2 @ Templepatrick / Airport slip. Turn left for Doagh, Ballyclare, Larne. Follow signs to Carrickfergus taking 2nd exit @ Ballynure r’about. This is the Ballynure bypass, follow this road for approx 3 -4 miles turning right onto The New Line.( signed for Carrickfergus) follow for approx 1mile taking 2nd right onto Paisley Road.There is no road sign but you will pass Woodburn reservoir on the right just before left turn to Paisley Road.The site enterance is approx 700 yds on left. Sat Nav post code. BT38 9AH.

Coming from north coast, head to Belfast turning left at Ballynure, follow above directions from here.

Coming from Belfast, head out M5 for Carrickfergus. Continue to Carrick turning left @ Mc Donalds onto Prospect Rd. Head to very top approx 2 miles. Turn left and then right (approx 200yds) onto New Line. 3rd turn on right is Paisley Road(approx 2 miles)



camp 11

FACTS - campaigners


On this very sad morning following Infrastrata’s spudding of their first Petroleum well in Northern Ireland at Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus, Stop The Drill have some very serious questions for NI Water the landlord of the site which was unlawfully leased to the company. We also have a number of questions for Mid and East Antrim Council following the disclosure that the Head of Planning, Paul Duffy asked Infrastrata for help in responding to questions from councillors about this project.

NI Water
On 13 May 2016 Stop The Drill wrote to Sara Venning Chief Executive of NI Water raising grave concerns about the claim that the Woodburn well pad is ‘Zero Discharge’. Stop The Drill has also sought the following information from NI Water. Ms Venning was present at an NI Water Board meeting in July 2013.
(http://www.niwater.com/…/boa…/board_minutes_24_july_2013.pdf) where InfraStrata's request to lease the land at Woodburn was discussed. i.e.
12. Proposal for Oil Exploration at Woodburn Catchment in Carrickfergus The Board considered the proposal in detail. The Board was assured that contamination risk had been dealt with in the pre-conditions for NIW land being accessed for this project. It was agreed that DRD should also be notified of this proposal.

Read more.


The Stop the Drill Campaign is raising awareness about the planned drill in the Woodburn Forest, only 380m uphill from a major drinking water reservoir and within a drinking water catchment area, putting this water at risk of contamination. In the interests of health, public participation and transparency we continue to highlight and challenge the major inaccuracies in the processing …

Read more.

Over 1800 streets will be affected including 705 streets across Belfast, 532 streets in Carrickfergus, 576 streets in Newtownabbey, 59 streets in Larne, 80 streets in Whitehead, 4 streets in Ballycarry and 1 street in Antrim.

1899 Belfast water act


A campaigner:

'The proposed well will be drilled to an approximate depth of 2,000 metres below the surface, with the target reservoir in the Triassic sandstones at a depth of approximately  650 metres below the surface. Deeper targets are within the Permian and Carbonifereous sandstones. It's my understanding that they are drilling through the shale layer in order to reach the lower sandstones. '



Monday May 16, 2016 15:00

InfraStrata begin drilling in Woodburn Forest, Co. Antrim Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus in County Antrim has become the site of the first operational fracking rig on the island of Ireland. On Monday 16 May InfraStrata PLC began to drill, seeking to confirm a viable oil find which …

Read more.




This is a really good talk we organised in Dublin three years ago with very valuable information - Speaker is Dr.Mariann Lloyd Smith, Snr Advisor, National Toxic Network Inc/IPEN Australia https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf6i54znf6s&feature=share


Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland

 Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland launch their study on health impacts of fracking

Protest in Dun Laoghaire to save local bus services, 25/07/2015 © Paula Geraghty NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

People Before Profit hit out at ‘cloak and dagger’ drilling that could lead to fracking

People Before Profit to campaign against Infrastrata exploratory drill near Woodburn Reservoir in Co. Antrim

MLA and TD hit out at ‘cloak and dagger’ tactic by authorities in allowing this drill to take place; implications for South

People Before Profit to move Bill to ban fracking in the Dáil once it resumes

People Before Profit MLA, Gerry Carroll and TD, Richard Boyd Barrett condemn moves to initiate fracking in Co Antrim and warned if test drills go ahead it could open the door for fracking North and South. The statement comes after NI Water’s decision to allow Infrastrata to begin drilling for oil just 380 metres away from Woodburn reservoir in Co Antrim. This could lead to UK company, Tramboran, attempting to drill in Fermanagh, which in turn, could lead to fracking in Leitrim and Cavan.

Read more.


Sinn Fein Meeting on Fracking - Drumshanbo 15/5/2014

I shot this footage at a Sinn Fein meeting two years ago in Drumshanbo, thanks to someone in a thread below for reminding me of it. The situation that we find ourselves in now re Woodburn was highlighted by several speakers and I rant a bit myself at the meeting too. This clearly shows that for two years Sinn Fein have sat on this issue and did nothing despite all the warnings. It is a very telling piece of footage and clearly shows that despite Michael Colreavy's stance at the time who was a TD and I believe truly doing his best the SF leadership were making sure they could say one thing to us while behind the scenes their attitude was very different. https://ww'w.youtube.com/waatch?v=UZzGRuskgT8&feature=youtu.be


What is Sinn Fein’s position on Infrastrata Woodburn drill ? Posted on May 16, 2016 by thegasmancommeth Sinn Fein have been very quiet on Infrastrata’s project in Woodburn Forest ? I think questions need to be asked about why ? I was present at the Sinn Fein conference in the Lough Erne hotel when via videolink Dr Tony Ingraffea expressed disbelief …

Read more.



a campaigner:

The DUP and SF put their heads under rocks with regard to the oil drill in Woodburn. Predictable institutionalised government formation means they are too busy to hear the loud concerns of the diverse range of people campaigning on the issue of an oil drill happening with no community consent.

The campaign around woodburn is cross community cross border and non-sectarian. It is also part of an international network of such campaigns against inland unconventional oil and gas exploration and extraction. SF and DUP think the issue will not significantly affect their votes. The DUP have Sammy Wilson riling up the DUPs constituency with decades old out of date hippy caricatures. The SF leadership don't really care because their 'community' don't get water from that reservoir. Their total silence makes a mockery of their trumpeting concerns with regard to community rights in terms of the environment south of the border - and of their deliberate association of themselves in the roi with the anti-fracking campaigns.

They should be standing up for people's right to be consulted, for the Aarhus convention, and for some kind of rule of law in terms of planning and the environment. It is not like the bizarre python mixed with catch 22 - esque nature of the 'process' which led to this drilling starting up this afternoon didn't give them plenty of pretexts to do something to stop the process. They've said nothing about it for months.

People in the roi interested in this issue should realise that they can talk about this issue, canvass their sf reps, make the campaign visible on a cross border basis and clearly understand that unconventional inland oil extraction happening with no planning process - under the radar - texas wildcat style - in the gap between an election and appointment of ministers is an all-island cross border cross community issue. It's becoming part of the landscape would inevitably lead to that kind of approach being legitimised south of the border.


Friends of the Earth visit Stop the Drill

Friends of the Earth from 27 countries visit the Stop the Drill fracking protest site at Woodburn Forest, Northern Ireland in May 2016. This is the first time a public water agency has allowed a drilling company to frack on land above a drinking water reservoir and public forest. For more information, go to www.StopTheDrillCampaign.com.
VIDEO - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G06PDpSQ5YU&feature=share


Fracking Free Ireland Network (Ireland/Northern Ireland)

For the past few years Fracking Free Network (Ireland/Northern Ireland) has tried to build a democratic structure for groups and communities threatened by the oil/gas industry to support each other and and work together in an effective way. This has been done by network meetings in places including Ballinlea, Carrickfergus, Enniskillen, and Belfast, to name just a few. Now at this urgent time at Woodburn solidarity is needed more than ever. The campaign at Woodburn forest  is run by local people who oppose oil company InfraStrata's bid to install an exploratory drill in their water catchment area. Permission to so so was secured via a 'permitted development' licence, which is extremely rare for projects of this scope and which also enabled the company to bypass public consultation and environmental impact assessment. What we saw with our own eyes and learned from local campaigners has not been covered by our media at all and only barely touched upon up North. We are very alarmed, and even more eager to do what we can. Over and over again, what we heard from campaigners on site was, "We need all the help we can get." 
Below are some facts

• Drilling began today (wednesday may 17th), even though campaigners have taken a case against the local council for negligence in implementing the planning process, and the decision is pending.

• The exploratory drill site is within a water catchment area that serves about 131,000 people in the Belfast area. We visited the site and the reservoir, and you could easily walk from one to the other in ten minutes. According to campaigners we spoke to, there is an extensive underground aquifer that the drill will pass through, and also a layer of (porous) limestone rock. There is concern not only that future drilling would be ruinous, but that just the test drill could poison this water supply. 

• Right now, InfraStrata have claimed they are drilling for the purposes of conventional oil extraction. However, there is concern among campaigners that if shale is found, InfraStrata (a small company) will sell their license to a much larger operation that will then pursue fracking. There is no moratorium against fracking in the North, and the threat that Woodburn could become Ireland's first frack site is very real. The dangerous ramifications of fracking will be cross-border: if shale is present and found to be profitable, InfraStrata's actions in Woodburn Forest could set a precedent in both the North and the South. 

• Every day, the campaigners at the Stop the Drill camp are surrounded by dozens and dozens of uniformed police and private security with dogs who taunt them aggressively. A man in his 60s was recently arrested for blocking the drill's arrival onsite, and while we were there we witnessed several people attempting to block a lorry be rushed by police who far outnumbered them in a chaotic and distressing scene. 

• The campaigners themselves are kind and hard-working local people. They're also exhausted, heartbroken, and very afraid of what's going to happen to their water. They've tried every legal channel available, with a private citizen funding expensive legal battles, only to face lies and corruption at every turn. Local politicians in general are not supportive. These are people who've lived law-abiding lives, who believed the police force existed to protect them from harm, who've discovered instead that the police are at the beck and call of InfraStrata; they look the other way when protesters are menaced by private security; they behave or speak in aggressive ways; they mindlessly repeat, "We're only doing our jobs." 

The people of Carrickfergus are in urgent need of support. Having talked to members of the Stop the Drill Campaign for their advice here are some ways you can help:

• Visiting Woodburn and supporting the campaigners and/or any actions they've organised (it's very easy to get to from Belfast; Stop The Drill code of conduct and directions are attached

• Organising and attending a Dublin solidarity action; more details to follow

• Urging the media to provide coverage

• Showing support on Twitter and Facebook (banners and photos for profile and cover pics also attached)

• Contacting TDs/MLAs (especially Sinn Féin reps, who are a cross-border party and so far have remained silent on the subject 

• Twitter Storm (details to follow)

For more updates and reliable information see the following sites/pages
Dont Drill Antrim Water (Facebook)   https://www.facebook.com/DontDrillAntrimWater/?fref=ts


Shale gas Bulletin Ireland

3. Judicial review of Woodburn Forest (NI) exploratory drilling to proceed

The Northern Irish News Letter revealed that the Belfast High Court would on May 6 hear a bid for judicial review made by a local resident opposed to the InfraStrata exploratory drilling in Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus. The InfraStrata project has been allowed to proceed on the basis of "permitted development", and a full planning application, which would have required public consultation, has not been required. While permitted development rights typically apply to "minor" and "non-contentious" projects, according to the Department of the Environment, as of August 2015  the department had received over 160 objections to the project.
The bid for a judicial review of the project was presented by local resident Richard Irwin, who commented: "InfraStrata should be asked to go through a full planning application…It is just a shame that I have to take this action, rather than NI Water and our council being the protector."

As the Belfast Daily reported on Sunday, May 8, the judicial review bid was approved, days before a drilling rig was to arrive on site. In a statement (see the article for the full statement), the Stop The Drill campaign said:
"The judge ruled in favour of the concerned local resident and granted leave that the Judicial Review can proceed.
"Infrastrata’s barrister stated that the company will go bankrupt if the drill is stopped until Mid and East Antrim Council make a decision on enforcement.
"This is a company that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) confirmed just a few days ago as financially sound."

The Belfast Telegraph reports that a protester who had climbed onto a drill at the Woodburn Forest site was arrested on suspicion of "obstructive sitting" and later released on police bail. Video coverage of the incident is here.

According to the Belfast Telegraph (May 12), lawyers for the Mid and East Antrim Borough Council announced that the Council would review the areas of complaint concerning the drilling project and make a decision by Monday (May 16). It was agreed that an application, initially scheduled for May 12, to have the drilling work put on hold until the completion of the judicial review, will be postponed until the council announces its conclusions. InfraStrata announced in a statement on May 13 that it would progress with its drilling programme in the absence of an injunction.

Meanwhile, NI Water has rejected claims that it has violated 100-year-old legislation by leasing the Woodburn Forest site to InfraStrata for 50 years, and states that it "prioritises the safety of public drinking water."

For more on the Woodburn Forest exploratory drilling project and local protests, see our previous articles:

• InfraStrata set to begin exploratory drilling near Carrickfergus, NI

• Woodburn Forest exploratory drilling update

• Wellsite construction begins in Woodburn Forest

For updates on the situation as it unfolds, see the Don’t Drill Antrim Water facebook page and the Fracking Free Ireland website.




Shale gas bulletin Ireland - https://sites.google.com/site/shalegasbulletinireland/

1. Canadian wildfires illustrate climate change cause and effect

2. Fracking in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale responsible for global rise in atmospheric ethane

3. Judicial review of Woodburn Forest (NI) exploratory drilling to proceed


FACTS - Infrastrata


1 ProspectivityReview of PL1/10*Larne-Lough NeaghBasinOnshore Northern Ireland



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