Once it is broken it can't be fixed

Woodburn update, Solidarity and Family Friendly Info weekend 18th and 19thJune


Fracking Ireland News Alert (10)
10th June 2016


Dear All,

Wake up, show your solidairty, feet on the ground, numbers are needed, don't sit on the fence.
It is now or never to Stop the Drill and to 'fight' for a Fracking Free Ireland.
It is an all Island issue, a global issue. If fracking goes ahead in  the North, the South will follow soon and it will affect you as well, even if you don't live in a fracking licensed area!!

In this newsletter:

• Waterpressure woodburn, family friendly info weekend

• Alert to Love Leitrim, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Type writer Warriers, campaigners/groups, politicians.....

• Update Woodburn and visit to camp and Stormont (6thJune)

• What you must know

• Motion debated in Stormont

• Latest news, ao. response letter from NI water

• Fracking background info

• Who's Gonna Stand Up? (Neil Young)

Keep the frogs in and the frackers out!

Ineke Scholte

Fracking Free Ireland




Dear all,

Five years ago started the campaign No Fracking Ireland, Fracking Free Ireland, to  Keep Ireland Fracking Free. Many groups were set up and became active, in a way that suits them best: writing letters, organising meetings, iinforming the public and politicians, meeting politicians/departments, demonstrations, direct actions. Despite this all, the first testdrilling have started in the North. Fracking in the North will open the doors for fracking in the South. We need numbers, visibility to get the message out.

A special call on or anyone who is involved in Love Leitrim, Good Energies Alliance Ireland, Belcoo FrackFree etc. etc.... Thanks for all your hard work so far. It is now time to show your support in another way. Now would really be a good time, thee time, for these groups to start organising/running buses up to Woodburn. We could easily have one or two buses running even twice a week from this whole region if we just get on with it - please pass this message on if you are a member or in contact etc..with any of these groups. Time is running out on Woodburn, drilling is due to be finished at the end of this month/1st week in July.

Visit the Woodburn camp, or support financially.
A Waterpressure Woodburn weekend is organised 18th and 19th June. This is a good starter for those who feel visiting a camp and meeting peaceful 'direct action' campaigners is a bit out of their comfort zone.

Fracking is an all Island Issue, a global issue. Many peaceful demonstrations in Europe have at last resulted in a ban on fracking. Show your solidairty, show that we are unified in our aim to Keep the Frogs in and the Frackers out!. It will be much appreciated and it will give a mentally boost especially to the campaigners at the camp in Woodburn.

We don't need 'concerned' people or politicians, we need active campaigners, hands on!

Ineke Scholte
Fracking Free Ireland

Stop the Drill Weekender Sat 18th and Sun 19th June : Woodburn : Terry Hooley presents 'Bad Vibrations' all island musical gathering on Saturday. Meet the 'NANAs' from England on Sunday.


That moment when the people from the camp at Woodburn Forest, who we met two weeks earlier, saw us coming again :)


This is happening soon - a big gathering at Woodburn with talks/workshops/camping & lots of music - https://www.facebook.com/events/1604546489857904/?ti=cl


Water Pressure

Stop the Drill weekend at Woodburn with music, food and workshops. Saturday 18th June. All welcome.

An oil and gas company called Infrastrata has been given a fifty year lease to drill less than 400 metres from a reservoir at Woodburn near Carrickfergus - on public land within our water catchment. At no point were we consulted.

The consequences of unconventional drilling on health and the environment are well documented. This is why it has been banned all over the world - from France to Germany, Wales to Nova Scotia..

We all live downstream.. We all share the same water table. This is a cross community all islands event with representatives from across the water and across the border who are facing or have faced similar challenges.

We are standing together for the right to clean water for ourselves and future generations. The executive must step in now to throw out this illegal and immoral agreement with Infrastrata.

Have you ever wanted to visit the site? Would you like more information about what is happening? Or have you just wanted to come and be part of this? NOW is the time to visit. The drill is happening NOW.

There will be tours of the site, nature walks, kids area, talks and workshops and a Bad Vibrations area with seismic sounds curated by Ecstatic in the Attic and Shizznigh. Line up will posted over the next few days but but it goes without saying that Terri Hooley will be making an appearance.

If you have skills to offer such as - making a pot of food, sticking up posters, doing a talk, driving a car load of people up to the site, facepainting, running a workshop with kids.. Please put a post on the events page or contact the organisers.

We'll be running a bus from Belfast City Hall at midday up to the site. Watch this space for for more details re transport. Anyway, Its simple enough to get to Woodburn. Its not much more than a fiver from Carrickfergus train station.

See you on the 18th.




On June 6th campaigners from various counties in the North/South West once again travelled to Woodburn Forest where Infrastrata are currently operating a test drill on land that is normally an amenity used by locals.

That evening a motion was put to the NI Assembly by Sinn Fein, which would not allow this industry in the future, to enter land in NI under 'Permitted Development Rights'. Normally 'Permitted Development Rights' is used in NI for small builds, an extension to a house etc...unconventional drilling by the oil and gas industry is the last thing this loop hole in the planning laws was designed for. The motion was passed but this does not affect the ongoing drill that is happening right now in Woodburn Forest.

The locals at the camp at Woodburn Forest, welcome all visits in their fight to ‪#‎StoptheDrill‬. There is room for people to camp over night and people south of the border have been travelling by bus and in cars to visit the camp, help with any work needed and if possible stay over night or for as long as is possible.
Infrastrata are due to have their work completed by the end of the month/1st week in July, we along with the campaign in NI are still determined to try and stop Infrastrata from continuing this drill which we believe is the first step to the introduction of onshore oil and gas fields on this island. This would be detrimental to our health, environment, sustainable industries such as farming, tourism and it flies in the face of what we need to be doing with regards to climate change.

Please share and help us spread the word.

Please keep up to date with the campaign by joining our page here - https://www.facebook.com/groups/146055765467930/

Our website - http://frackingfreeireland.org/

NI fb page - https://www.facebook.com/DontDrillAntrimWater/




We must all make a stand now, in whichever ways we feel able. We are way beyond the mollification of petitions or the charade of planning permissions - It is high time to act in self defence. ‪#‎PledgeNVDA‬.

Our Governments and their Police Forces - instead of serving and protecting the people and the land - have become blatant, and sometimes violent, tools of ecocidal, suicidal, homicidal corporate interest.

The tireless, lawful means of appealing to those who call the shots - for five years now - have fallen on deaf, manipulated and obscenely invested ears.

We are at the point of having to act collectively and individually in creative, non-violent, calm, determined direct action. Whether through busting the lies and sharing the truth through word of mouth, leaflets and media/social media - or through physically acting with the courage of our convictions by stopping the trucks, building blockades and/or locking-on etc.

Many people at Belcoo, Balcombe, Barton Moss, Crawberry Hill and Upton were arrested for doing this (some violently but most not so) - and the vast majority of those charges were dropped - many of them without even going to court.

And right now, good people from north and south of the border are being arrested in Co. Antrim for trying to defend the drinking water of over 130,000 people at Woodburn Forest ... and the frack dealers in the UK government have opened the fracking floodgates on North Yorkshire - setting a despicable potential precedent for the island of Ireland that doesn't bear thinking about.

It is down to EVERY ONE OF US NOW.

Do not wait for somebody else to do something about this - you ARE the cavalry!



Keep the message simple wrt. Woodburn and everywhere else. With regard to onshore hydrocarbons: KEEP IT IN THE GROUND. That way there are no arguments about 'is it fracking? Is it not?' 'Frackers' is still a good term of abuse for those involved in an increasingly ecocidal process and should be used - especially where oil/gas companies deliberately and manipulatively bend the law, avoid scrutiny and consultation. Let THEM PROVE they are not frackers. The onus should not be on campaigners - working in the absence of any transparency - to PROVE where an opaque process will end. This industry has a history of lying about long term intentions so as to create 'facts on the ground'.

So the line to these vampires is - 'Because of your mendacity, avoidance of planning processes, EIAs, your avoidance of consultations, the history of Fracking - we will consider you frackers and call you frackers until you prove you are not'.




Woodburn Forest 160509 2


Independent journalism on fracking, onshore oil and gas and the reactions to it

By Ruth Hayhurst on June 6, 2016 ( Leave a comment )


The Northern Ireland Assembly is debating a motion by Sinn Fein politicians, Oliver McMullan and Gerry Kelly, on InfraStrata’s drilling plans at Woodburn Forest in County Antrim. The drilling has been allowed under permitted development rights, without the need for planning permission, consultation or an environmental impact assessment. Check for live updates throughout the evening.

The motion is:

That this Assembly notes with concern the application by InfraStrata to drill at Woodburn Forest, County Antrim; recognises the concerns of residents in County Antrim over drilling proposals at the forest; and calls on the Executive to ensure that such applications are not approved until assurances are secured against any negative potential impacts on water supply, the environment, tourism and local communities.

Read more.


Woodburn Forest

Mr. Durkan: 7.45 pmI have been inundated with angry tweets, emails and correspondence on this issue. I even got a letter from Mark Ruffalo, the Incredible Hulk actor. Believe me, you do not want to make him angry.
Mr Agnew: He turns green.
Mr Durkan: He clearly is green, all right.


Read more.


Richard Boyd Barrett was the first to put down a motion for a bill to ban fracking/unconventional, then Sinn Fein and now back bencher FG TD Tony McLoughlin has done the same




SCROLL DOWN for the latest response. (received today!)

In summary, NI Water does not believe that the nature of the licence granted to Infrastrata contravenes any of its statutory duties nor in particular, insofar as they are relevant, does it contravene the provisions of the Belfast Water Act 1899.   As you are aware, no lease has as yet been granted to InfraStrata and InfraStrata's option is subject to it first having obtained a planning permission for further exploratory drilling, which will provide a further opportunity for any concerns on the part of objectors or residents about its operations to be assessed.


To: "waterline@niwater.com" <waterline@niwater.com>
Sent: Friday, 6 May 2016, 10:09:36
Subject: NI Water Exploration Agreement with InfraStrata at Woodburn Forest

Read more.


Gerry Carroll, People Before Proft is organising events to inform the public and is is really getting things moving in Belfast. Tonight  at 6pm we will be speaking in Frank Gillen Centre on Cullingtree Road. Thank you to Gerry Carroll MLA for organising this event. The Falls Rd and a significant part of West Belfast is supplied from Woodburn. ‪#‎StopTheDrill‬


Divis Residents meeting to discuss the effects and dangers of the drilling for oil in Woodburn reservoir. This drilling poses a grave threat to the water of people across Belfast including Divis and the Lower falls. Speakers from Stop the Drill campaign and Gerry Carroll People Before Profit MLA.




Don't Drill Antrim Water:

Permitted Development Rights at Woodburn Forest were granted by default when the Department of Environment Strategic Planning Division missed two deadlines in 2013.

No planning permission was therefore required for this development in our water catchment. No public consultation took place. We are very concerned because this is the water supply for 1800 streets in Antrim including Belfast City Centre.

This is a 50 year agreement between NI Water and the oil and gas company Infrastrata which allows for multiple wells in the water catchment. It also allows the right to reinject petroleumn and other fluids into and under the site. The company are using toxic hazardous chemicals.

We have discovered they are using radioactive sources while drilling the well. We have huge concerns about where the drill waste is going. There is nowhere in Northern Ireland that can deal with it.

Neither NI Water nor Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) have completed baseline testing for the drilling chemicals and they refuse to do so and they refuse to carry out ongoing monitoring with NIEA saying it would be prohibitively expensive.

Methane testing for this development was carried out by RPS Infrastrata’s consultants and so there has been no independent testing.

The wellpad, on which the premise of 'zero discharge' depends i.e. no contaminants will seep into our water supply, has been designed by Infrastrata and there have been no checks by any statutory or independent agency on the design. NIEA have written to us say "NIEA is outcome focused, we don’t comment on or approve designs on a site specific level .e.g. in relation to Woodburn, there has to be a wellpad constructed and it has to be impermeable."
NIEA continue "A failure by the company to adhere to this requirement would result in enforcement." Too little too late.

We are forced to rely on the word of Infrastrata for the safety of our drinking water and we would be very unwise to do so.

NI Water are actually now trying to deny that the North Woodburn Reservoir is in the drill catchment. This is NOT true and here is another scandal. The land at Woodburn was vested to protect it in 1899. From 1899 to date Woodburn has been a protected water catchment. This is clearly laid out in the Belfast Water Act which NI Water have refused to comment on. Correspondence from the Department of Regional Development confirms North Woodburn Reservoir is in the drill site water catchment.

The drill is 2km deep and then 250m horizontally.

Hollyood actor Mark Ruffalo and Head of Water Defense, an international water protection organsation has made the point that this is the first time in the world that a public water company has leased a water catchment for directional drilling.

On one hand NI Water claim they fully understand the project. But the fact is that the Head of Safety Dympna Gallagher didn't know that directional drilling was been used until we recently informed her.

The role of NI water must be investigated urgently.
This is an undeniable conflict of interest. The landlord of the oil company is our only water provider and regulator.

We are calling on our elected representatives to show leadership and to bring drilling in our water catchment to a halt and to break this unlawful agreement between NI Water and Infrastrata.


Interesting letter to David Ford and covered to entire NI executive from Chairman of Belcoo Frack Free - sent in March 2016.

Co Fermanagh BT93 5DN
Dated : 14 March 2016

Mr David Ford
Minister of Justice
Block B,
Castle Buildings
Stormont Estate Belfast BT4 3SG

cc : Northern Ireland Executive.
Subject : Woodburn and Policing

Dear Minister Ford,

I write as chair of Belcoo Frack Free with regards to the proposed drilling at Woodburn. I urge you and your colleagues in the Executive to give this matter your undivided attention to avoid violations of EU law, and international conventions, and most importantly violations of human rights issues. Ultimately the PSNI are going to be in the middle of it all as they were in the proposed Belcoo drilling project, but there is a more hardened line being drawn at Woodburn.

Read more.


Posted on by thegasmancommeth

I’ve just requested some information from the PSNI. I requested they forward the map/site plan/diagrams and other information used by them to determine which parts of the Infrastrata project are shared access and which are sole access to Infrastrata.  This is one of dozens of requests for information I have made over the last number of years to various Government Departments in relation to Woodburn.

Read more.


Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it?
Dr Robin Russell-Jones

9th June 2016

The UK government is all for fracking, writes Dr Robin Russell-Jones, but on climate grounds alone it should be banned. Evidence from the US shows that shale gas is twice as dirty as coal from a climate viewpoint due to 'fugitive emissions' of methane. That makes fracking incompatible with the UK's climate change commitments and the Paris Agreement - as the CCC may soon rule. We have been unofficially informed that the CCC has accepted our data on fugitive emissions of methane - and that shale gas is twice as bad as coal from a climate change perspective. In other words fracking is likely to be banned.

Read more.


excerpted from Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment by Wenonah Hauter, out now from the New Press.

Stifling heat and the fumes spewing from bumper-to-bumper SUVs and large luxury vehicles hit me in the face as I walked out of the airport in Dubai. Back in 2012, I was visiting one of the least sustainable cities on Earth, attending the industry-sponsored Global Water: Oil and Gas Summit, which featured representatives from Shell, Saudi Aramco, and Conoco-Phillips as speakers. Dubai was a fitting location for the bizarre grouping of polluters, resource extractors, and opportunists to meet and discuss the best way to divvy up and profit from using the world’s water for oil and gas development.

Read more.


 Methane is colorless and odorless. But it’s a powerhouse in the way it contributes to global warming. In the atmosphere, it’s more than 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Read more.


"Who's Gonna Stand Up?" (Neil Young)

Protect the wild, tomorrow's child
Protect the land from the greed of man
Take out the dams, stand up to oil
Protect the plants and renew the soil

Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
Who's gonna say that she's had enough?
Who's gonna take on the big machine?
Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
This all starts with you and me

End fossil fuel, draw the line
Before we build one more pipeline
End fracking now, let's save the water
And build a life for our sons and daughters

Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
Who's gonna say that she's had enough?
Who's gonna take on the big machine?
Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
This all starts with you and me

Damn the dams, save the rivers
Starve the takers and feed the givers
Let's build the green and save the world
We're the people known as EARTH

Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
Who's gonna say that she's had enough?
Who's gonna take on the big machine?
Who's gonna stand up and save the Earth?
This all starts with you and me"


Don't sit on the fence, get involved!

Contact your local group