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Irish times does not know the facts – no test drilling in belcoo

irish times
To whom it concerns,

Our campaign network were shocked at the piece in your paper yesterday because of a staggering mistake of such proportions made by Frank McDonald – it stated in both the sub heading and the body of the article that test drilling is taking place in Fermanagh.

If Mr.McDonald or editors had the slightest understanding of the situation they would have been aware that there has been no test drilling to date in Fermanagh or anywhere else on this island.
In fact the campaign and protests in Fermanagh and across the country to date have been to stop any such work by Tamboran etc..
Furthermore the chance of any test drills from happening in Fermanagh was yesterday stopped for the moment by NI Environment Minister Mark Durkan.
We would appreciate in future that similar mistakes of such basic and important information do not happen again re this issue.
We look forward to seeing a prompt full retraction and correction in print and online.
Thank you
Members of campaign network –
No Fracking Ireland.
087-7409102

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Legal Smeagle  (12/08/2014)

It’s hard to believe that with all the people who were looking at the “legal” side of things, (we were not as a network we were focusing on mobilising people and informing the public) – but others were groups etc including people in ngo’s and political parties yet we are expected to believe that none of them looked at the basics of the license and whether or not the quarry also had a license to allow any work to be carried out there.
It seems now the quarry did not have a license to allow work take place but more unbelievable is that the basic license that tamboran were going to test drill with was only allowing them to drill for MINERALS ie NOT GAS.

One member of NFI publicised this obvious basic problem with Tamboran’s license nearly two weeks ago – then organised publIcly along with a commumity group Lamp Fermanagh to raise money to initiate legal work on these grounds.

Then it just so happens that days later the same opinion re the license not covering gas was given by advisors ? in Stormont. This was then shared publicly by NFI – even though some people did not want this info from Stormont to be shared publicly.

In my opinion because the info of illegality of the license was being shared publicly and the more people became aware of it pushed Durkan into a position where he knew we knew etc etc.. and he had no choice but to do what he did yesterday.
How could a minister allow the test drill go ahead when it was blatantly obvious that the license and the quarry had no legal standing, it would have made Durkan look crazy if he ignored those facts and allowed the drilling.
But it was vital that that info was shared publicly so that the powers that be knew we were on to the complete illegality of the situation.

It is an outrage in my view that the authorities and political parties with all their advisors and legal eagles allowed the situation come to this ie. that a rig was actually on the way to Belcoo at the same time that Durkan was forced to make his announcement. Campaigners met the drill on the road to Belcoo yesterday and confirmed they were going to Belcoo.
It was the people who stopped the test drill in Belcoo not the powers that be.
Shame on the political establishment of NI all parties included for letting this almost happen.
Because of this situation I will continue to be suspicious of anyone/group/organisation/political party etc to date who have claimed they were working on legal side of this re Belcoo, when the illegalities were staring us in the face all along.

 

 

Black Shamrock Anti-Fracking Campaign Symbol
The anti-fracking campaign in Ireland has adopted the black shamrock as it’s symbol. Ireland’s national emblem is the shamrock, green of course, until fracking is banned we will continue to use the black shamrock as our symbol of protest.
Please feel free to create your own black shamrock anti-fracking sign’s etc and send us the photo’s to add to collection. You can post black shamrock photo’s to us on facebook or to nofrackingireland@gmail.com. Be inventive!!
Collection of online photo’s here – http://on.fb.me/1hOo2Hb
Join our facebook page here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/146055765467930/?fref=ts
For more info visit the website here – http://frackingfreeireland.org/
Join us on twitter – @notofracking
Ireland Needs to Show Solidarity in the Global Fight Against Fracking
People all over the world are fighting fracking you just won’t hear that much about it in Irish media. This week after violent attacks from the police a few weeks ago, First Nations tribes people of New Brunswick, Canada, continue their battle to protect their children’s health, water and land against fracking. http://lastrealindians.com/for-immediate-release-sacred-fire-blockade-to-begin-at-noon-on-nov-4/

“This is an issue of human rights and access to clean drinking water, and it’s fundamentally about sovereignty and self-determination. Support for the Elsipogtog and their actions to reclaim lands in their territory is something that is powerful and united from coast to coast and around the world.” – Clayton Thomas-Muller, Idle No More. – http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/11/05-5

While these people stand up to the worlds most powerful industry, the people of their neighbouring provinces, Quebec and in the last few days Newfoundland, can breathe a sigh of relief for now, as both province’s federal governments have placed moratoria on fracking.

“Holding one of the revoked licenses (in Quebec), Lone Pine Resources, an oil and gas company, is now launching a $250 million lawsuit against the Canadian government over Quebec’s fracking moratorium under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although Lone Pine maintains all its operations in Canada, it’s registered in Delaware which allows it to make claims under NAFTA.” http://commonsensecanadian.ca/quebec-fracking-nafta-challenge-right-water-right-profit/

“The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union (EU) and Canada would grant energy companies far-reaching rights to challenge bans and regulations of environmentally damaging shale gas development (fracking), a new briefing by Corporate Europe Observatory, The Council of Canadians and the Transnational Institute shows.” http://corporateeurope.org/pressreleases/2013/eu-canada-trade-agreement-threatens-fracking-bans

“This is the system to which we will be subject if the transatlantic treaty goes ahead. The US and the European Commission, both of which have been captured by the corporations they are supposed to regulate, are pressing for investor-state dispute resolution to be included in the agreement. The Commission justifies this policy by claiming that domestic courts don’t offer corporations sufficient protection because they “might be biased or lack independence.”(12) Which courts is it talking about? Those of the US? Its own member states? It doesn’t say. In fact it fails to produce a single concrete example demonstrating the need for a new, extra-judicial system. It is precisely because our courts are generally not biased or lacking independence that the corporations want to bypass them. The EC seeks to replace open, accountable, sovereign courts with a closed, corrupt system riddled with conflicts of interest and arbitrary powers. Investor-state rules could be used to smash any attempt to save the NHS from corporate control, to re-regulate the banks, to curb the greed of the energy companies, to renationalise the railways, to leave fossil fuels in the ground. These rules shut down democratic alternatives.” – http://www.monbiot.com/2013/11/04/a-global-ban-on-left-wing-politics/

Intensive secret lobbying by U.S. law firms on behalf of major oil and gas companies is presently taking place in Brussels. “Gathered at the Brussels office of Covington & Burling, a prominent Washington-based firm, were some of its lawyers and lobbyists, along with executives from some of the world’s largest oil companies, including Chevron and Statoil. Their aim was to help shape the European Union’s policies on the gas and oil drilling technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. They were meeting with Kurt Vandenberghe, then a top environmental official for Europe and a prime player in the debate over fracking, which is even more contentious in Europe than in the United States.” – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/world/europe/lobbying-bonanza-as-firms-try-to-influence-european-union.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

The current EU Commissioner for Climate Action is Connie Hedegaard. A few days ago she made herself available to answer questions via twitter. There were very few contributors to this online Q & A. No Fracking Ireland asked the commissioner “if communities continue to resist fracking will you ignore this and allow industry to over-ride wishes of communities?”. This question was put to the commissioner several times, each time ignored. another contributor asked about fracking, their question was also ignored.

The major battle of course is in getting the facts and information out there to the general public. The bans and moratoria against fracking to date, have happened because of intense public protest and pressure on governments. Trying to give people the full picture and extent of the destructive nature of the fracking industry is not easy, especially in a country like Ireland where we have a very pro-industry, media culture. This has been well proven by the treatment given by state TV and national newspapers to the Shell to Sea campaign.

With fracking there are so many aspects to cover, use and contamination of water, the contribution to climate change, ponzi economics, industrialisation/contamination of land, contamination of air, serious human health risks, stalling of renewables, threat to wildlife, ecosystems, earthquakes, damage to sustainable industries, risk to food production etc etc… Because ‘fracking’ for shale gas and oil is only over a decade old, and has moved closer to areas where people live, many of these areas of concern are only now being discussed and documented. It will be years before we understand the full affects.

For every academic report or piece of evidence we have against fracking, industry fights back ten fold. They’ve got the money to have reports written when needed, on demand, plus this industry fund many of the major universities around the world. When it comes to the oil and gas industry science is a commodity. People are shocked when they hear that even the U.S. EPA have turned their back on communities and the environment in support of the frackers. Leaked U.S. EPA documents showed that the industry and the EPA were aware of water contamination but chose to keep that information from the public. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZx8kWdWUxk

In Ireland the government and industry want to keep this issue from being properly debated, they want the majority of the public to believe this to be a NIMBY campaign. It is being portrayed in the media as a “Leitrim” or “Clare” issue and in the north as a Fermanagh issue. The fact is that there are shale formations throughout the country. When the ‘options licenses’ were handed out in the ROI vast areas of 11 counties were included. The demand for future water supply on this island will come from the Shannon Basin Region, the very same region the companies want to frack. It is vital for the future of this whole island that this region is protected from this industry. To date, because of the lack of national media coverage, people are still largely uninformed. An uninformed public means the government can quietly push ahead, while informed TD’s say little because there are, as they see it outside the couple of counties, “no votes in this issue”. It’s up to us to change that.

The fight against fracking is happening right now in communities all over the world and because of that global unity, this fight is very winnable. These communities are fighting on our behalf. The people at the fore-front of this battle, in South America, the U.S., Poland, U.K., Romania, Canada etc need our support. To show our solidarity we intend to highlight what is going on in these countries. If the attitude of the vast majority in Stormont and the Dail, towards this industry, is to be heeded then the frackers are not far from our door. Public pressure has worked to secure moratoria and bans in other countries. Thankfully, we are not in the situation, for example that the U.K are in, where the companies are on the ground, drilling has commenced and people are having to fight stronger to stop the industry from pushing forward. Here we have the luxury of some time, but we need to use that time, act now and make it clear to investors, industry and government that we are awake, informed and we are saying no. We hope you will continue to help in whatever way you can and in future as time is passing that we see more unity and numbers at public events etc..

Our symbol is the black shamrock and when fracking is banned in Ireland we will celebrate and the shamrock will return to green. In the words of the Lock the Gate campaign Australia, “Our resistance is non-violent but non-negotiable”.

For info of local groups/events on facebook join our facebook page NO FRACKING IRELAND (all caps) here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/146055765467930/?fref=ts
Find out further info/news etc on the website – http://frackingfreeireland.org/
Follow us here on twitter @notofracking
Further reading and events on Indymedia here – http://indymedia.ie/article/101995?search_text=fracking

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No Fracking Ireland Helping Organise Social-Media &
Email Action Re This Invite Only Workshop
Fracking and Health Research Workshop
Friday 15 November 2013, 9am – 5pm
Mary Ward House, 5-7 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9SN…

“The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Exeter Medical School, the European Centre for Environment & Human Health and UC Berkeley would like to invite you to a workshop on fracking and health research, to be held at the Mary Ward Conference Centre on Friday 15th November 2013.
The UK is likely to start producing energy from shale gas using hydraulic fracturing (fracking). This is subject to much debate. The scientific evidence regarding health effects is an important contribution to this debate”
https://lshtmfracking.eventbrite.co.uk/

NB – THIS EVENT IS SPONSORED BY THE IRISH EPA, WHICH HAS SO FAR ACTED IN A VERY PRO-INDUSTRY MANNER & IS IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION.
http://www.shelltosea.com/content/environmental-protection-agencys-immunity-prosecution-should-be-withdrawn

No Fracking Ireland on Irish EPA –
“The shameful role of the EPA” http://www.indymedia.ie/article/103389?search_text=fracking