ARCHIVE Local Press ROI (2011-2013)

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2030 Vision Conference –





love leitrimSafe our planet award for Love Leitrim


anti fracking winners




Anti fracker winners honoured

Published on 15/08/2013 19:06

Arun Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi was one of the international human rights figures to congratulate Love Leitrim who received a Save our Planet award

The anti fracking group were presented with their award on Sunday, August 11 in the Clarion Hotel, Sligo. The new awards are designed to recognise the contribution of local environmental heroes to their communities, both locally and nationally.

Gandhi after offering his “hearty congratulations” said of the oil and gas industry, “They have no concern for future generations and the consequences of poisoning the earth with chemicals that will eventually make the soil worthless.”

He urged a move away from short term thinking and rewarding corporate interests. “Are we going to sell our souls and the souls of succeeding generations to the avarice of the few today?”

Love Leitrim group are no strangers to building international links. They are behind the farming not fracking logo that has gained international notoriety and adopted as far away as New Mexico. They also have garnered the support of high profile stars to the campaign including Christy Moore, Glen Hansard, Kila and Eleanor Shanley amongst others along with comedians Katherine Lynch and John Colleary.

Eddie Mitchell of Love Leitrim was delighted to accept the award on behalf of the group and said, “Love Leitrim is everyone in this room and beyond nationally and internationally. We are not anti-development we are pro-development. “Everyone has a role to play in stopping fracking which is a threat to the sustainability of our environment, indigenous industries, as well as the health of our communities. The campaign will not stop until it protects all the things we love about Ireland by banning fracking.”
It was a busy weekend as artists in the region took individual stands to raise the threat from fracking to local and international communities.
Top Irish traditional band Kila made a show of solidarity between Ireland and the village of Balcome in England who are peacefully resisting fracking. Rossa O Snodaigh spoke on stage of the need of communities under threat in Ireland to stand with this “ rural village “ to applause. He then dedicated his whistle composition “Waggeldy toes” to them.
Sharon Shannon was ‘Loving music not fracking’ in her set at the Sligo Summerfest wearing Love Leitrim’s new tee shirt to a packed crowd.
And Eleanor Shanley showed her support of anti-fracking communities speaking out, when in the heartland of Kiltyclogher in the Michael Shanley Traditional Music Festival.


The many reasons to visit and fall for Lovely Leitrim

Apply for a frack free Leitrim

News talk 8 December 2011
Aedin explained – under the name Fracking Awareness Campaign –  the technique and all ins and outs of hydraulic fracturing for over 10 minutes. Facts were given and the recent ban and moratoria on HF were mentioned.

Cavan : link to cavan community radio programm on fracking, covers sliabh russell hotel meeting., click listen and look for community focus programme part 1 , 2 and 3 9/29/11

Tamboran director ceases safety work in caves due to time contstraints –

Tamboran’s claims of chemical  free frack fluid challenged by expert (10th August 2011)

Tamboran U turn on crucial submission pdf

Public to have their say on controversial gas fracking process

Consultation for laws covering fracking safety close this months- (1 September 2011)

Full consultation report and questions on Political Issues:


From left to right: James Campbell (from Leitrim, businessman in Russia), Karl Prendervill (see  Debate oireachtas, 22nd October 2008:Tamboran – Karl Prenderville ) Tony Bazley (geocologist) Richard Moorman (CE Tambooran)–public-meeting-hears/
(21 st September 2011)


Tamboran rules out entirely West Cavan fracking plans – (19 Jan 2012)

Fracking company faces being struck off Companies Register  (25 Jan 2012)


_________________________________________________________________________________________ (10 December 2012)

No decision on fracking until after EPA report in 2014  –

Leitrim council asked to follow donegal and prohibit fracking (13 November 2012)  (14 Oct 2012)

The Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications is holding a meeting today (Wednesday, October 10), devoted solely to Fracking.

Dr Aedín McLoughlin from Ballinaglera, a Board Member of Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI), has been asked to make a submission to the Committee, representing the campaign against fracking in Ireland.

Tamboran Ltd. had previously accepted an invitation to attend this meeting on behalf of the gas industry and also make a submission but has recently withdrawn for reasons unknown. It is possible that this change of heart follows the step-down of Richard Moorman as Chief Executive.

“This changes the whole tone of the meeting and we will be able to make our case against Fracking very powerfully,” said Aedín. “Officials from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will speak first, then the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and finally myself on behalf of the campaign.

“I will be focusing on the enormous scale of the proposed shale gas project, which people don’t appreciate, and the reasons why Fracking must not be allowed in Ireland, including the risks to our land, our water and our health, as well as dividing communities and endangering the important existing industries of agriculture and tourism.”

This meeting was to be held on 25th September but was put back until 10th October to allow the EU Commissioner for Energy Gúnther Oettinger to address the Committee during his visit to Ireland that week.

In response to questions asked by Leitrim Senator Paschal Mooney, he said that no decisions should be taken on hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” for ten years.

“It is not enough that politicians make comments like these”, commented Aedín McLoughlin.

“Initially, we need a clear commitment by the Government that they will not issue any licences for on-shore shale gas exploration or development.

“Following which, it must be adopted by Government as policy that high-volume hydraulic fracturing will be prohibited in Ireland.

“This technology is totally unsuitable for the geology, climate and environment of Ireland, is not safe and imposes too many risks to our health and well-being.”

Further investigation learns:
Given that this supposed quote of the Commissioner in an Irish newspaper is in contradiction with his earlier statement, someone called his press office.

They told me that this is a bad quote and the Commissioner stands by his earlier position: There may be a business case for shale gas in Europe and we should assess its economic potential for European gas markets. In addition, we should also assess the environmental impacts. But Oettinger does not pin himself or the Commission down on any timing and sees the economic and environmental assessments as an ongoing exercise, not in any way linked to the authorization procedures.

Nigerian activist urges locals to “unite” against fracking  (22 August 2012)

22 September 2012  visit also:
Newsletter 44-12 (79) –

 Fracking is not without risk  EPA report…..- (19 May 2012)

Sinn Fein says it will ban Fracking  –  (16 May 2012)

Zero chemical promise on fracking is not eough (1 September 2011)


Men under Thur Mountain – farming or (3 February 2012)


Don’t let Leitrim be the guinea pig  (26 February 2012)


Jessica Ernst packs hall, warning of dangers of hydraulic fracturing.

Press Officer- Love Leitrim. (29 Febr. 2012)

They used to come from far and wide on bicycles to the iconic Ballroom of Romance in its heyday in the 1950’s according to my aunt who went there. But this was no social outing that saw a full house of up to 350 people on Friday 24th spilling out the door. Local men in the doorway strained to hear the words of the speaker as if their lives depended on it.

This was part of a series of lectures by Jessica Ernst around the North West. This one was organised by the local community with Cllr Sean Mc Dermot introducing and Mary Daly chairing. Jessica Ernst had been invited to give first hand testimony of her experiences with the gas industry, in Alberta Canada. One by one this amicable scientist exploded myths rolled out by the gas companies through statistical evidence that she had compiled over the years, on what she called the “fracing experiment’ that has become hers and her communities life. She had learnt alot about promises, and knows now not to take the promises made by gas industry and regulators at face value.  Rural people tend to be “gentle and trusting,” she said and they preyed on this. Many of these promises had an all too familiar ring to them in light of the proposed and controversial granting of licences to the gas industry in the area she held the podium.

She had believed the industry and “the best in the world” regulators wouldn’t risk them. From the tell tale signs of rashes and burns on her skin, to soap not sudding, and unexplained overflow instances, it started. Finally, when her dogs backed away from drinking water she realised the promises were “empty”. The call by Tamboran to trust them and Irelands’ “world class” regulators began now to sound hollow.

She catalogued evidence based on painstaking research compiled, much gained through freedom of information searches that showed the extreme difference between gas levels and heavy metal deposits in their communities water before and after drilling that couldn’t be explained away by claims of ” natural causes”.  Many of these deposits were known cancer causing agents similar to the deposits found most recently in Pavilion by the American Environmental Protection Agency and linked to the industry. Extremely high levels of methane risked and caused explosions including their water tower blowing up.

The area would be changed unrecognisably from roads to noise levels. Their straight roads were damaged. She had observed our roads because they were so small and windy risked even higher levels of damage from such increased heavy traffic. The noise she likened to “jet engines” taking off. This would be potentially amplified in our area because of our natural geography of valleys and hills.

She marvelled at what she witnessed about the great resources that Leitrim had, its history of the old world all round.  Some things people may not appreciate until its goes like peace and tranquillity.

She said

Since I’ve been here, I feel nothing I see nothing but birds and neighbours. Is there anywhere quiet anymore? What is the monetary value of quiet?

She chronicled the difficulty in selling property and gaining planning and insurance, the problem with deformed farm animals and land. The proposed jobs included cleaning up toxic waste after accidents and spreading the waste on the land (something the companies promised they would not do).  The jobs promised for locals, tended to be these high-risk jobs.

She implored

“Do you want to bring your children home to jobs like that?”

Albertans were now beginning to stand up and speak out and she no longer was on her own.  Visible resistance by farmers more obvious with trucks painted with antifracking slogans. The National Farmers Union representing thousands of farmers across Canada were as of 23rd of February 2012 calling for a moratorium. They speak up for those whose water has been polluted that have been gagged shouting about it because of confidentiality agreements signed with the companies.

The men at the door were straining as if there lives depended on it because it did. It would be their turn now to speak out.

The Epa can not assess fracking in Leitrim – Jessica Ernst

Government still awaiting EPA preliminiray report  (14 March 2012)

Helmut Fehr at the ballroom, 2 April 2012

“Don’t sell your soul to gas companies” says German politician.
Press officerLOve Leitrim.

Visiting German geoscientist and politician Helmut Fehr appealed to a large crowd in Leitrim last night, Monday 2nd April to awaken their sense of citizenship and get mobilised in relation to hydraulic fracturing. He relayed to the crowd his first hand experience of public campaigning in Westphalia.
Fehr has a love affair with Ireland coming annually to it on holiday. This affable man spoke in a disarmingly matter of fact style. Sometimes this was because he reminded people of things that made perfect sense. Other times it was because Fehr comes across as a man of ideals, holding a clear vision for his community and tried to ensure that people in the room held firm to a vision of Leitrim. Spontaneous applause seemed to act as a barometer of this vision.

The presentation was made in the Ballroom of Romance in the epicentre of where the gas company Tamboran too have their own vision for Leitrim and Ireland that they are trying to realise. Recent reports paint an even more intensive picture than first divulged of 3000 to 9000 gas wells in an area of 100,000 acres in Leitrim and Fermanagh.

Mr Fehr spoke of the journey of his people in NW Westphalia, the importance of working together, from believing everything the companies told them to a point where they critically analysed information disseminated by the company. That journey is now at a significant stage where there is now a moratorium in place while a comprehensive piece of state research is due to be published in September. The results of this will determine the way forward.

Fehr stressed his concerns and cast doubts on the credibility and transparency of the companies involved who often did not inform the public about important safety issues until after they had been highlighted by investigative journalists who now act as watchdogs to the industry.

He said
There is an understanding in the German media that water is special and if you spoil it, it cant be simply cleaned, and there is a common understanding that this is an essential issue for our future, for all our futures.

For Fehr, sustainability is key. There were too many ‘open’ questions that related to the long-term safety of localities from the industry. The cement casing of the boreholes was one such issue. How safe are they now and in 20 and 30 years when the industry leaves? He said to look around that “nature never sleeps” and at the corrosive power of water. Earthquakes linked with the process also were a threat to the integrity of the casings. How the wastewater was got rid off, was another issue of deep concern from practices in America. The companies “come and get all the profits and leave all the risks in the ground”. The transport of hazardous material, the noise and the traffic, the chemical compositions of frack fluid were issues that were revisited. Sustainable industry was for him the landscape and farming and this along with the people was the reason why he came back time and again to Ireland. And for the second time In the space of 5 weeks, the people in the crowd were reminded by an international speaker how special their natural resources were.

According to Fehr
“Industry need not be dirty”
Fehr is a firm believer in democracy and called on the public to ensure they got answers from their politicians and hold them to account. “Democracy worked” for them he said.

When it was drawn to his attention that the local company were courting the community and business sector with potential of funding, he gasped. “Don’t take the companies money it is like selling your soul’ to a round of applause. They may build creches and gardens according to him but this is only short-term gain for long-term loss.

And did he think tourism; agriculture and fracking could work together?

Fehr looked in total disbelief and in his imitable style just said “But of course they can’t” followed by another round of applause by the room. The community had spoken.


This event was organised by Love Leitrim, North West Alliance Against fracking, Save Our Shannon, Lough Allen Conservation Association, Leitrim Farmers Network.



Tamboran resources executive meets with Manor Business Forum –  (16 April 2012)

Years of Zinc exploration expected – (05/05/12)


Comiskey welcomes Taoiseach’s commitments on fracking –

Charlie wrote a letter to Enda Kenny:

“I’m kindly asking you to answer me two questions:

1) Is it true that when you and Mr Corbett discussed the fact both Ireland and Pennsylvania have shale gas resources, you said,

the Republic of Ireland is ‘keen to emulate Pennsylvania’s success in developing these resources’ ?

2) If so, does that mean that the government has already come to decisions if and how shale gas mining will take place in Ireland, despite the fact that the EPA and the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communication have not come to final conclusions about the feasibility of such undertaking?”


In a letter from his Private Secretary I got this answer:

“The Taoiseach has asked me to thank you for your recent email.

During a recent visit to Pennsylvania the Taoiseach met with Governor Corbett and engaged into a productive meeting covering a wide range of issues.

In relation to shale gas in Ireland Minister Rabbitte has confirmed that no decision will be made until the results of the second stage EPA research have been considered,”

As Taoiseach Enda Kenny did NOT answer my first question, but therefore the second one, we can expect that he means it like he said it in Pennsylvania:

Ireland is “keen to emulate Pennsylvania’s success in developing these resources”.

So get prepared, folks. This government is very obviously PRO fracking!

Sligo today: Harkins calls for wider debate on fracking –  (11 October 2012)

Anti fracking protest
(19 September 2011)

Gas exploration firm says ‘no danger to health or environment’ (22 September 2011)


Fianna Fail in U turn on fracking
(27 September 2011)
Sligo priest sceptical about ‘fracking’ claims  (9 September 2011)

Dispute over ‘fracking’ alleged training pact –
‘IT Sligo contradicts Richard Moorman’

A “fracking” exploration company says it has cancelled a training agreement with IT Sligo. But the IT claim the agreement never existed.  (25 Jan 2012)


Business group accept bribe from fracking company says td  (3 May 2012)



Fracking, why we nee to be afraid –  (3 October 2011)
Fracking row: council has not power to ban it  (19 Jan 2012)

Click on image to enlarge – 8 December 2011


 Irish news – Click on image to enlarge  February 2012

Fracking coming to Bundoran and Ballyshannon – 22 February 2012
Click on image for full story


Meg’s journey to Ukraine – one of the campaigners (29 Febr. 2012)
Click on the image


O’Neill move to prevent fracking –  (17 jan 2012)



Beara TD focuses on issues that directly affect West Cork –



Published in the Leitrim Observer

By Des Guckian


The threat is so deadly that it behoves us all to try to understand, as far as possible, what fracking involves. Checking the arguments for and against by reading articles on the internet, Irish and American newspapers and Time magazine has convinced me that this is one method of natural gas extraction that is a massive threat to those unlucky enough to live in the general area where it is being employed. Leitrim, north of Drumshanbo, and neighbouring counties are under immediate threat. The Lough Allen community held their information meeting, in The Bush Hotel, on 31 August. A week later, another was held by the gas exploration company Tamboran. I found the community meeting most informative and well presented but the company’s approach was very defensive and, as I publicly told them “very economical with the truth”.

Fracking is a really new and, as yet, a very imperfect method of extracting gas from ancient shale deposits deep in the earth’s crust. Each well is created as follows: A vertical bore-hole, up to one mile deep, is drilled. Gradually, that bore-hole is turned so that it is horizontal by the time it enters the shale. Powerful charges, like small earthquakes, are detonated in the pipe down in the shale. This causes fractures. A mixture of water, sand and chemicals is pumped, at very high pressure, into the cracks. The sand keeps the cracks open and the gas and large amounts of wastes flow to the surface. The wastes are stored in large pools on the pad that contains the well-head. Hundreds of such well are proposed here.

There have been instances, in USA etc, where these polluted pools have collapsed causing overflow into the local water and into larger rivers. New York State is particularly nervous about contamination of the New York City water supply and is about to ban fracking near the watershed. An essential thing is to keep the well pipes fully sealed so that the gas and wastes do not get into aquifers and surface water wells. That essential safeguard is sometimes neglected, leading to environmental disasters and forced migration of locals to other safer places. France has imposed a total ban on fracking.

The award-winning documentary film Gasland and the excellent community meeting presentation by Dr Aedin McLoughlin , Ballinaglera, revealed that plenty of chemicals are used in the fracking process. Up to 80,000 pounds of chemicals are injected into the earths crust to frack each well and up to 70% of fracking fluid remains in the earth’s crust and is not biodegradable. It builds up forming a poisonous deposit. Drilling emits nitrogen oxide and volatile organic compounds. Researchers suspect that 65 compounds used in fracking are hazardous to human health. Not only is there a danger of the methane gas itself escaping , but dangerous radon gas , brine and even radio-active material can be set loose in the mining areas.

In the Gasland film, many of the residents interviewed in parts of Pennsylvania and New York States,USA, revealed how their lives were turned upside-down by fracking. They suffered diseases by being exposed to chemicals, their cattle died or were contaminated, their wells and rivers were rendered useless and an ugly industrial wilderness was created in what had been agricultural and tourism areas. Possibly, the most startling thing of all was to see water from a kitchen tap going on fire when a flame was applied – it was carrying methane gas.

At the Tamboran meeting, their spokesman was forced to admit that they will have to increase the size of each bore-hole and the pressure they use, they will most certainly be using chemicals in drilling each bore-hole and if they sell on to another company then that company will in no way be bound by any undertaking given by Tamboran to the N. Leitrim and Fermanagh communities. The, so far, limited licence which Tamboran inherited from another company was issued, last February, by Junior Minister Conor Lenihan’s Department of Natural Resources, in the last days of the recent FF/Greens government. Tamboran, or whoever may succeed them, will get our gas deposits for a song and only after they begin to make a profit will they be subjected to a low rate of corporate tax. That give-away needs to be publicly condemned and people power must be applied to get laws in place immediately to defend our local rights and our national interests against speculators. We must credit Tamboran with holding a four hour long public meeting but I wonder will the second company, called Lough Allen Natural Gas Company (who also hold a similar limited licence in the region), come out from cover and have the guts to state what are their interests and intentions.

I cannot see any of our major political parties defending the rights of the public in this issue. As of now, the exploration companies can carry on regardless and confidently expect to be given full drilling licences – knowing that the EPA will not know how or have the necessary teeth to monitor fracking and our big political parties are going to sit on their hands and not interfere. Honourable exceptions are Luke Flanagan TD (Ind) and Michael Colreavy TD (SF) who stand with the people and have ideas on the thoughtful uses of our natural resources and renewable power. Independent Cllr Gerry Dolan told the meetings that he had visited blighted areas in the USA and did not want to see our farming, tourism and the Shannon River wiped out in similar fashion. The net loss would far outweigh any possible income from gas extraction.

When I spoke at the community meeting, I said that we all wish to have employments of a variety of sorts and that holding on to MBNA employments is vitally important. Fracking rocks is one thing, and is very dangerous in its own right but also there is a huge danger that greedy, ignorant politicians and speculators will frack the community in a manner similar to what happened in tragic Mayo. That would be the ultimate destruction. We need to be informed and to use people power to pressurise our politicians. Otherwise, we are facing yet another regional and national disaster.

Sincerely. Des Guckian, Derrywillow, Dromod.


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