Irelands first Fracking Pad

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This island’s first fracking pad – Woodburn Forest, Antrim. Resevoir can be seen in the background. Let’s make this the only fracking pad this island ever sees ‪#‎ShutDownInfrastrata‬ No Fracking Ulster!

We protested all over Belfast city on monday and visited the camp – the people at the camp were delighted to see us coming – they want people to join them any day, any time – there is space for camping. https://www.facebook.com/britainandirelandfrackfree/photos/…

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Protest at Dublin HQ over Woodburn Forest

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CARRICK TIMES

http://www.carrickfergustimes.co.uk/news/carrickfergus-news/protest-at-dublin-hq-over-woodburn-forest-1-7393299

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12:53Friday 20 May 2016

Green activists are to protest at Sinn Féin’s Dublin headquarters tomorrow in relation to the Woodburn Forest drill in Carrickfergus.Representatives from Young Friends of the Earth will take part in a demonstration urging the party to take a public stand against the project.Mícheál Callaghan of Young Friends of the Earth Ireland said: “Despite grassroots level Sinn Féin party members and local councillors being opposed to the drill at Woodburn, the response from senior members of the party has been limited despite the vocal – and laudable – opposition of the party to extractive industries.

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What is Sinn Feins position on Infrastrata Woodburn drill?

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What is Sinn Fein’s position on Infrastrata Woodburn drill ?

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 that an oil and gas drilling project was to proceed within 400M of a reservoir that supplies 130K people with drinking water.  An important point also made was that we are now into riskier drilling. All the easy to get oil and gas is gone, any project that is proposed now is by nature riskier – whether that be into shales, coal or tight sandstone.  These wells and well sites have a poorer record.

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

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Published on 19 May 2014

This was a SF organised public meeting on fracking, majority of attendees were SF members/supporters.
Speakers Michael Colreavey T.D. & Phil Flanagan MLA spokespeople on this issue for SF.
Sinn Fein passed a motion calling for a ban on unconventional fossil fuel extraction (fracking) in both NI and ROI at their Ard Fhéis in 2012.

Vice President of SF, Mary Lou McDonald came to Leitrim a few weeks ago to launch SF’s EU and local candidates for the upcoming election. At that meeting of approx 200 SF members, no sitting public representative or candidate mentioned fracking.

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

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People Before Profit hit out at ‘cloak and dagger’ drilling that could lead to fracking
http://www.peoplebeforeprofit.ie/2016/05/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

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Fracking arrives on the island of Ireland (Indymedia)

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Fracking arrives on the island of Ireland
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/105851

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 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.

Fracking has come to 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.

InfraStrata is a small UK dirty energy company which also holds a licence for underground gas storage facilities at Islandmagee in Antrim.

Local campaigners from the Stop the Drill campaign have been fighting a marathon battle against the company’s plans to drill in the forest. The community has had a physical presence in the forest since February, when a protest camp was established.

No planning, no consultation

InfraStrata has been granted permissions to drill through a mechanism known as “Permitted Development Rights” (PDR) which allowed them to by-pass the planning process without any public consultation process. The PDR mechanism is normally used for small scale developments such as minor residential home changes and it is extremely unusual for it to be used for large scale heavy industrial development.

The drilling site has been leased to the company by the public water utility Northern Irish Water, who had previously managed the site as a protected water catchment for over 100 years. The fifty year lease cost the company £1,000.

Woodburn Forest is the location of four water reservoirs which serve the nearby town of Carrickfergus as well as a number of areas of Belfast and communities along the Antrim coast. Three of these reservoirs have been closed as a precautionary measure as drilling gets underway.

There has been a litany of procedural and planning failures by the Northern Irish government and the local authority, Mid and East Antrim Council. The company was granted Permitted Development Rights by default when the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Investment failed act on time to assess the licence.

InfraStrata went on commence works on the site in February without producing a Waste Management Plan for the handling of toxins and dealing with contamination on the sensitive water catchment site. The plan that was subsequently produced, and approved the local authority, contained a number of serious flaws according to a review carried out by Synergy Energy and Environment on behalf of the Stop the Drill campaign

Non-violent direct action

The drill rig arrived through the port of Larne on Monday, and its arrival on-site was delayed by over 6 hours by the non-violent direct action of local community members, including one man in his 60s who locked himself on to the rig when it was stopped by community members who blocked the road.

Up to 100 PSNI officers closed the roads around the forest and refused to allow community members in or out of the site while the dealt with the lock-on. As this blockade progressed, a harp player played in protest for three hours at the police line.

Court case

A member of the local community has sought a judicial review of the process in the Belfast High Court. The court has instructed Mid and East Antrim to review the case by Monday, 16 May, when the council must decide if it believes that the company has breached Permitted Development Rights.

The community do not believe that the council will find against the company as this would be admitting error on its own behalf. Instead, campaigners are preparing to challenge the council’s decision through the judicial review.

The date for this review will be set by Thursday, 19 May, but it is hoped that it will take place before the end of May.

Support needed

While the community awaits the judicial review, work on site continues apace and the only thing that can halt fracking is people power on the ground. The community appreciate all support both at the protest camp and online.

The address of the camp is 15 Paisley Road, Carrickfergus, Carrickfergus BT38 9YB, UK.

Visit the Stop the Drill campaign website for full details of the handling of the case by the government, including copies of all available documents and reports: http://www.stopthedrillcampaign.com/.

Related Link: http://www.stopthedrillcampaign.com/

Woodburn Forest – Facts

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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. Continue reading

WOODBURN – camp impression

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camp 12 camp 1 camp 2 camp 3 camp 4

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