ARCHIVE Fermanagh/NI news + actions (2011-2013)

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landowners  (13 Dec. 2013)

sdlp  (6 Dec. 2013)  (fmn 129)

Big Dog 1Follow these instructions.

1. click on the link below

2. click on the map.

3. change to satellite view.

4. zoom in

5. Question: what do you see?

6. Answer: strange clearings in the forest that can easily accommodate fracking pads…..

big-dog-1_final_report1  (pdf)

Big Dog is where they are going to drill first.

anti fracking activistsAnti fracking activists  (5 dec. 2013)



political news
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anti fracking activists

NI fractured






Nothern Ireland Executive





bbc democracyMinister says fracking is a matter for the Executive-

Speaking in Question Time, Arlene Foster, said she regarded fracking as a novel and controversial issue and, in the light of Mr Justice Treacy’s recent ruling on blood donations, it would need to be dealt with by the whole Executive.

stormont row on the cards




Stormont row on the cards – 16 Oct. 2013

 No Fracking pledge by Fermanagh's biggest landownerNo  Fracking pledge  –






Rural Minister Rules Out Fracking

Northern Ireland’s Agricultural Minister Michelle O’Neill has said that no fracking will take place on any land owned by her department.

The announcement followed a question by Minister O’Neill’s colleague in Sinn Féin, Phil Flanagan.

The scope of the statement includes the Forest Service, which accounts for 30,690 acres.

Minister O’Neill said: “During my time as Minister of this Department I would not agree to fracking taking place on land owned by my department.”

Hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, is a controversial method of releasing natural gas from the earth by drilling and injecting fluid at a high pressure.

Environmental campaign groups have warned the process could cause irreparable damage to the earth and the surrounding environment.

Welcoming the commitment, Mr Flanagan said: “This is a very positive move and demonstrates Sinn Féin’s commitment to opposing fracking anywhere in Ireland.

“The risks associated with fracking have long been debated and it is widely accepted across Ireland that fracking is not in the best interests of our people, of our environment or of our economy.

“Fracking poses a very real risk to the success of our farming industry, which is vital in counties like Fermanagh & Leitrim.

“It is therefore very welcome that the Minister with responsibility for protecting the agriculture sector, forestry and rural development has vowed to block any proposals to allow fracking to take place on any of her department’s lands.”

NI agriculture minister to blcok fracking on the department land  –

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has said she will attempt to block any plans to use “fracking” on land owned by her department.

Fracking is a controversial method of extracting gas from shale rock.

Australian mining company Tamboran has been granted a licence to explore for gas in the border counties of Fermanagh and Leitrim.

The licence area covers thousands of acres of forestry land owned by the Department of Agriculture.

If approval is sought to extract the gas using hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the minister said her department would have to be consulted.

In a letter to her party colleague, assembly member Phil Flanagan, Mrs O’Neill said she would not agree to fracking taking place on land owned by the department.

She said she was both “personally and politically concerned” about the process and any potential impact it could have on the environment.

letter- response


Letter: Document

NI Department of the Environment: Yes to fracking at present would be reckless – Durkan

Published by the Department of the Environment of Northern Ireland: 13/08/2013

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today stated that agreeing to fracking at present would be reckless and irresponsible.

The Minister was responding to the Prime Minister’s statement yesterday in favour of fracking.

Mark H Durkan highlighted that no decision should be taken until all facts and scientific evidence are established.

He also re-assured the public in Northern Ireland that fracking could not take place in Northern Ireland without his say so.

Mark H Durkan said: “At present there is no planning application for fracking in Northern Ireland. If and when any application comes in, it will be for me to decide, not David Cameron. I am not going to make any decision until all the facts and scientific evidence are established. To do otherwise would be reckless and irresponsible. Do we need to extract shale gas? Can it be done safely? Would it be done responsibly? These are the responsible questions. All facts are not in. The scientific evidence is far from being established. No fracking for Fermanagh, no fracking for Northern Ireland, as things stand.

“I am not though sitting on my hands here, simply waiting for a planning application to come in. I have asked my officials to get us to a position of best knowledge possible here. This means reviewing existing research, analysing new studies, studying case studies from other parts of the world and liaising with counterparts in other Environment Agencies in Britain and Ireland. Remember also, there is a big cross border issue here – shale gas beneath the surface will not follow the meanderings of a border above ground.

“So decisions based on fact, a process ensuring best possible knowledge is acquired, is my strategic way forward”.

Notes to editors:
For media enquiries and photographs please contact DOE Press Office 028 9025 6058 or out of office hours, contact the EIS Duty Press Officer on pager 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.

Story by DOE


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fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland - sian cowman article

fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland  2- sian cowman article

fracking a step closer in Northern Ireland 3 - sian cowman article

Inshore Ireland Vol 9 nr 3 2013  (page 7 and 8


ni minister warns cameron

Northern Ireland minister warns Cameron over ‘reckless’ shale gas push –  (13 August 2013)

“At present there is no planning application for fracking in Northern Ireland,” he said in the statement. “If and when any application comes in, it will be for me to decide, not David Cameron.”

miinister plea

Minister in plea to give fracking a fair hearing –  (13 August 2013)

The Assembly has called for a moratorium on fracking pending further scientific analysis, but the exploration company Tamboran plans to begin extracting shale gas in Fermanagh next year. Mr Wilson, meanwhile, also entered the debate yesterday after Prime Minister David Cameron said fracking could lead to lower UK gas prices and will not have a serious environmental impact.

Irish Environment: Are Sinn Fein and DUP selling out Fermanagh to fund UK exchequer with fracking revenues? –

northern ireland gas service is sold
Northern Ireland’s largest natural gas distribution and energy service has been sold in one of the biggest deals of its kind. –  (August 2013)

“The outlook for the use of natural gas as a clean and efficient fuel source in Northern Ireland is compelling,” he said.
Phoenix connects the Greater Belfast area and is responsible for making the fuel available to around half the population of Northern Ireland.


Rathlin Energy
Notice of the Rathlin Energy planning application (E/2013/0093/F) to drill an exploratory oil/gas well is in the current issue of the Ballycastle Chronicle (dated 11th July). It gives 14 days for submission of written comments, so please lodge your objections by 25th July.

Members of the public can make a submission to the UK Environment Agency on Cuadrilla’s drilling permit until July 16th:

As far as I can see, you don’t need a UK postcode to participate.
Here is some advice from Frack Free Sussex on responding:

N. Ireland – Pl. Application-E/2013/0093R-Rathin Energy Ltd :
Temporary works of drilling exploratory borehole to approx 2700m depth to investigate underground strata for hydrocarbon exploration under DETI license PL3/10 issued to Rathlin Energy Ltd. Also to temporarily widen road into verge along 60m of Kilmahamogue Road to facilitate safe access. Also car parking, portacabin offices/welfare/workshops and 180m of 4m high perimeter earth bunds within temporary works at site.

Rathlin energy have said they do not want to drill just one well. They want to drill lots!

This is not about fracking. They have said they would need to drill four wells every square mile to extract conventional oil, and they have identified numerous areas across the Rathlin Basin where they think this is possible.

Use this link to check for sample letters.
email to:

What can we do now?
Question what Cuadrilla is proposing:

Before 16th July there is an opportunity to respond to the Environment Agency’s consultation regarding Cuadrilla’s application for a Mining Waste Permit at:

To view the permit documentation: select blue ‘View and Comment’ button which opens a new page.

– The 14 permit documents are downloadable from the left hand side.

– Comments already submitted can be seen via View Comments.

– You can add and submit your own comments and questions online via Add Comments or download the MS word response for from this webpage via the blue button ‘Download File’.

A public consultation on the Draft High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan is currently being undertaken.
Have your say before 26 July:

Tell South East Water what you think about Clear Water, their long term strategy for water management.
You can find the details of their plans and opportunity to comment

Write to your MP, MEPs and your local Councillors.

Spread the word!
Many areas are under threat from oil and gas exploration, but don’t know it yet.

No Fracking at Ballinlea

Rathlin Energy planning application and information sessions – What next?

The Gasmancometh- Welcome to the ‘regulators’ jungle.
The Geological Survey of Northern Ireland  (GSNI) and Tamboran seem to have a close and cosy relationship.

Protest/Amend the Bill – 24 June 2013

MLAs back DUP and SF economic planning zone proposals
MLAs voted in favour of a DUP and Sinn Fein amendment for the setting-up of economic planning zones, but the conclusion of the debate on the consideration stage of the Planning Bill was delayed, on 24 June 2013.
The Planning Bill debate resumed after Question Time.
Peter Weir of the DUP criticised an Alliance amendment on world heritage sites. He saw this as an attack on the environment minister’s granting of permission to develop a golf resort at Runkerry.
The site is just over a mile away from the entrance to the Giant’s Causeway, in County Antrim.
Special economic planning zones proposals, backed by Stormont


anti fracking campaigners
Anti fracking campaigners (14 June 2013)
Anti-fracking campaigners have urged anyone concerned about plans to exploit shale gas in Northern Ireland to make their views known on the scope of a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) of the proposed licensing regime for inland waters.

Australian mining company Tamboran Resources, which is also examining options for fracking in the Republic, has already been granted a “petroleum licence” by the North’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment for shale gas exploration.

Tamboran’s licence is for the Lough Allen basin, covering about half of Co Fermanagh. Similar licences have been granted to Infrastrata plc for the Lough Neagh basin; Rathlin Energy Ltd for the Rathlin basin and Provident Resources plc for Rathlin Island itself.

The department is developing criteria for a framework to underpin its licensing regime and one of the key elements involves an SEA. Anti-fracking campaigners want this to be as broad as possible, taking into account public health, tourism and the landscape.

The deadline for making submissions on the SEA’s scope is today. They may be sent by email to


Rathlin license – rathlin_energy_pl3_10_original_licence_document

Northern Ireland exploration (by Rathlin Energy)

Rathlin license –

Rathlin Map of the area

Enniskillen G8 protest

Belfast istanbul derylin, we will win

Home-grown protest strikes a different chord to previous G8 encounters

No fracking ‘should be G8 legacy’-
No fracking in County Fermanagh should be the G8 legacy, a Sinn Fein Councillor has said.
Councillor Barry Doherty said: “Perhaps as a legacy of this G8 conference the people aided by willing, informed representatives will create enough momentum to stop and ban this process [fracking] and make those intent on forcing it through see some sense”.
Mr. Doherty applauded the campaigners who came to Fermanagh for the G8 summit and who along with many from inside the county left no one in any doubt that fracking is not wanted in Fermanagh or anywhere in Ireland.
Councillor Doherty took part in the protest march and has praised participants and onlookers for the carnival atmosphere they created along the route of the march.

Video Flotillas

Border Rally against fracking

Ireland’s €24 billion food and drink industry could be put at risk if fracking gets the go-ahead, a farm leader warned yesterday as hundreds of farm families gathered close to the Border to highlight concerns about the controversial method of shale gas extraction.

The planning application for the Ballinlea well has been submitted. You can find it at this link.

” drilling exploratory borehole to approx 2700m depth to investigate underground strata for hydrocarbon exploration under DETI license PL3/10 issued to Rathlin Energy Ltd. ”

Your Help is URGENTLY needed – Amend The Bill – Stop making it easy for Fracking –
Published on 11 Jun 2013
IMPORTANT UPDATE – The amendment is being considered by the NI Assembly on JUNE 24th – Please act as soon as you can and SHARE SHARE SHARE this video with everyone you know.

An Amendment to the Northern Ireland Planning Law is being rushed through NOW in June 2013 which makes the granting of Planning Permission or Zoning Permission based purely upon economics.

No longer will suitability, the community or the environment be a basis for granting such permissions. This is to allow an easy path for Shale Gas and Fracking companies to get planning permission.

If this amendment is allowed to happen it will set a precedent for the rest of the UK to copy, then the rest of Europe and then wherever else in the world Fracking is being considered. Which means that no matter where you live this could affect YOU.

If you live in Northern Ireland please take just two minutes of your time to visit
and make your views known. If you live outside Northern Ireland then please email

with your views, you can cut and paste the example letter below.

If you care about the environment you live in, both natural or built, then please take the time to register your views.

There is very limited time so please act now.

To learn more about Fracking and how it might affect you please visit This is a superb film made by a group of young Fermanagh residents about fracking and its implications.

Together we can make a difference

Thank you for watching and thank you for caring


Here is a standard letter you can use as your guide but feel free to change or add to it according to your circumstances:-


“To – Arlene Foster MLA, Tom Elliott MLA, Phil Flanagan MLA, Maurice Morrow MLA, Sean Lynch MLA, Bronwyn McGahan MLA, Michelle Gildernew MP, Peter Robinson – First Minister and Martin McGuinness – Deputy First Minister.

We need a planning system in Northern Ireland which protects our special places as well as allowing good development in the right place for communities and the economy.

Please act now to amend the Planning Bill 2013 when it comes to the floor of the Assembly.

Please vote in the following way.

Say yes to:

• Bringing in protection for World Heritage Sites and their settings in Northern Ireland, which includes the Giant’s Causeway;
• Making sure that the Bill is balanced, by amending Clause 2 of the Bill to ensure our planning system furthers sustainable development which ensures:

• Protection and enhancement of the environment;
• Promotion of economic development;
• Promotion of social well-being.

Say no to:

• The economic development line currently in Clause 2;
• The wording in Clause 6 — which could be used to place too much emphasis on economic considerations. With Clause 2 amended, this is no longer needed.

This really matters to me – please do this for future generations.

Please confirm to me that you will present my views when the Planning Bill is voted on at the Assembly.”


Once again thank you for taking the time to look at this and for your action.

For Northern Ireland residents –

For people outside Northern Ireland

The most excellent Fracking In Fermanagh film –

Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network –

Email addresses MLA/MP;;;;;;;;
and/or (same persons);;;; ;;;;;

Subject: Submission to DETI Scoping Report for Oil and Gas Licensing

Dear Madam/Sir,

Referring to the public consultation on the draft DETI-Scoping-Report-for-Oil-and-Gas-Licensing.pdf here my comments.

Increasing evidence appearing from the United States and Canada is showing immense socioeconomic impacts of shale gas fracking. As these impacts are likely the first ones confronting humans in their environment I cannot understand why socioeconomic impacts, and therefore also cost-benefit analyses, should be categorically excluded from the SEA.

The recently published documentary, Fracking in Fermanagh (, is showing that local people are already concerned about the significant socioeconomic impacts shale gas development would have on their communities.

Further referring to Chapter 8 of the draft in question:

8.2.1   Chapter 1: Introduction

1.4 Why is it not clearly stated what other factors alongside the SEA have bearing on the outline of the plan and if these are part of the public consultation?

What are the DETI guidelines of how to act upon the information given by the SEA and why are these not clearly stated in the scoping report?

1.5.1 Need to clarify the integration of the SEA Directives into the Northern Ireland Legislation impetus on “sustainable development” (In Process).

1.5.2 Clarification needed on which department at which national elective level has the overall/overriding power to implement the plan.

1.8 Table 1.2 “Study Limitations” Socioeconomic effects are expressly not assessed by the SEA. How will these effects be assessed, under which criteria and are they subject to public consultation?

8.2.2   Chapter 2: Overview of “the Plan”

2.8 Socioeconomic effects are expressly not assessed by the SEA. Yet how will these be assessed since the SEA does not?

Socioeconomic impacts shall be assessed by the SEA as these are very likely the first impacts effecting human environment.

8.2.4   Chapter 4: Approach and Method

4.4.2 “Assessment Criteria”. “Existing Developments” needs to be clarified and how broad ( i.e. internationally) the scope of existing wells is cast. Also that there is an exact correlation between the type of development and any proposals of such developments considered by plan.
Kind regards,


– The deadline for comments will be the 14th June 2013.

>Don’t forget to requests for return receipt.

– Email comments should be submitted to and written submissions should be sent to:

Minerals and Petroleum Branch
Department of Enterprise, Trade & Investment
Colby House
Stranmillis Court
Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5BJ

14 JUNE =DEADLINE     for N. Ireland SEA Scoping Petroleum Licensing in internal waters Public Consultation.
More news on:

Strategic Environmental Assessment of Petroleum Licensing in the Internal Waters of Northern Ireland (Belfast Lough and Larne Lough)

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) is currently developing a criteria for Petroleum Licensing in the Internal Waters of Northern Ireland (the Plan). The plan will provide a framework for how petroleum licensing will be undertaken in the internal waters of Northern Ireland.

Public Consultation

The public consultation on the Scoping Report began on the 24th April 2013 and will continue until 14th June 2013.

The consultation on the Scoping Report seeks comments on:

· The appropriateness of the proposed scope of the SEA (this will help ensure that all issues of potential concern are considered);

· The appropriateness of the proposed assessment methodology; and

· Any additional sources of relevant information that could be used to inform the assessment.



Strategic Environmental Assessment of Petroleum Licensing in the Internal Waters of Northern Ireland (Belfast Lough and Larne Lough)
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) is currently developing a criteria for Petroleum Licensing in the Internal Waters of Northern Ireland (the Plan). The plan will provide a framework for how petroleum licensing will be undertaken in the internal waters of Northern Ireland.



Plans by Tamboran for HF for SG-ETI

1.5 Tamboran’s proposed work plan

Tamboran’s outline work programme is summarised in their Licence, Appendix B.
The specific details are not yet developed although it is thought that they will shortly
apply to DETI to drill a vertical stratigraphic borehole for rock sampling right through
the section, perhaps to a depth of 1200 m.

FRACKING FACTS – NI and request
I recently got the following info and attachment from a person who is in the North Antrim

As you may or may not know it is now expected that a second Oil/Gas Well will be drilled near the Balinlea Cross Roads off the Straid Road, in the Ballintoy area soon.

None of us have seen any planning permission for this yet, but a few local residents have been contacted and there are also rumors that a local land-owner has, or is in the process, of agreeing to let the Drilling Companies access the proposed site and drill a further exploratory well, with a view to future extraction.

Gas & Oil reserves are still being mentioned but it is still not sure if they will be viable. Fracking is not being mentioned up front at the moment, but neither is it being denied nor ruled out!

It appears the oil/gas bearing sub strata containing the carbon fuels is Sand-Stone, and this may be a bit different from the Shale Beds in the USA, but I am not an expert in Geology, so who knows?

I ask what are our local representatives doing about this development in the area? Do they even know of the dangers of Oil/Gas Extraction? I.e. the potential for ‘Recovered Water’ on site to contain some very nasty pollutants! – (See attached document which gives some information on potential pollutants, related environmental issues and questions for the prospectors if they come knocking on your doors!)

Please pass this info/document on and ask your local representatives what their positions are and what they intend doing about the potential environmental risks of OIL & Gas Extraction in the local area!


Granting of licence to look for oil and gas sparks fury

Some Issues Info Questions realting to local Oil_Gas Extraction 2013


Granting of licence to look for oil and gas sparks fury

Campaigning works! It could be very simple!….

Dawn spotted a small ad and started a face book. She wrote a (sample) letter that people could copy. And it worked.

NI Petroleum licenses –

Add in the paper to apply for a licence within a month from 25 March 2013

Press release.

Dawn Bourke. On behalf of Belfast Not for $hale.  March 2013

Just over a week ago a tiny, nondescript ad  appeared in some local newspapers. As you can read DETI proposes to grant a petroleum prospecting license in a large and heavily populated area of NI, from Belfast city center to the shores of Lough Neagh.

As part of the conditions of this license it is my understanding that if oil and gas is found the company may proceed to ask for planning permission to drill. It is highly likely to utilize unconventional techniques commonly known as Fracking. I am not a lawyer but it is my understanding that if reserves are found DETI are bound to enter the next stage of the agreement.

Considering the furore over the similar licenses in Fermanagh and County Antrim it is my belief that if the people of NI knew that all six counties now opened the door  to Fracking there would be a public outcry.

At my local council office the staff at the front desk had no idea what I was asking for and it took quite a few calls to finally get to see the map. It didn’t feel like a  public engagement process.

I think quite a few people are very keen to see this map 22,480 people have now viewed a post of this map on  At this point 19,500 people have seen the map detailing the area to be licensed on the No Fracking Northern Ireland Facebook page. Most have responded with shock and dismay.

This seems a surreptitious move over the Easter break effectively giving an impossibly short time for the public too respond. The area of NI now covered by these types of license is extreme and I contend that it is undemocratic to even think of issuing this without proper and through public consultation.

People are concerned have serious and legitimate concerns about unconventional fossil fuel extraction. On a recent BBC Spotlight programme I heard Mike Young, head of Geological Survey of Northern Ireland said “I don’t think we know enough now to know that it is safe”

With respect to the public engagement DETI may have acted legally, but morally the people of NI deserve better.
The maps say it all, please print and watch the reaction as people all over NI realize Fracking is not just a Fermanagh issue any more.

Fracking: Green Party’s deep concerns for Limavady-

Fermanagh meeting hears of fracking health risk

Minutes of the meeting: Public health and shale gas




Tamboran plans to begin fracking in Fermanagh in 2014 (28 June 2012)

Fears mount over threat of fracking – (19 May 2012)


North not affected by UK fracking go ahead – (18 April 2012)

Actor does not want fracking to destroy county’s image (1 March 2012)


Comprehensive information on fracking in Fermanagh and relevant links (almost also to be found on this web)
Northern Ireland/UK basic information

A Note from the Next Door Neighbours is sent to everyone on the Centre for Cross Border Studies e-mail list on a monthly basis. If you have friends or colleagues who would like to be added to the mailing list for ‘A Note from the Next Door Neighbours’, please send their details to or call +44 (0)28 3751 1550.

Find us on Facebook at


 NI Economic plan

From  the new Stormont Exec ‘Economic Strategy’ by both big parties (Chaired by Arlene Foster) The Document is 90 pages long, it promises alot in terms of helping to create jobs etc but theres also some info with regards to energy and Gas sustainability for the future.
No real big surprises here, just confirmation it seems with regards to Gas. (Shale Gas?)


Energy minister’s link to gas-exploration site –

Click on image to enlarge and read full story.

Click on image to read full story.


Irish news –  Click on image to read full story.  (February 2012)


BRIEFING PAPER for medical professionals and  CALL FOR MORATORIUM
Briefing Paper for Medical Professionals 30-11-2011_97-200

PRESS RELEASE  (and more useful info)
Press Release anti fracking petition being presented 6th D

December 6, 2011
Northern Ireland Assembly members have called for a freeze on gas exploration in Fermanagh to avoid the consequences of fracking.A Green Partyand Alliance Party motion against the potential use of hydraulic fracturing, which pumps water into the ground to release shale gas, was passed with the support of Sinn Fein and the SDLP.

But predictably the DUP rolled in behind its Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster. Mrs Foster said it was correct to pursue the possibility of identifying a source of locally obtainable fuel, but Green MLA Steven Agnew said there was no guarantee Northern Ireland would benefit from such a find, which he said he opposed anyway, urging emphasis on alternatives to fossil fuels.

Stephen Agnew presented the Assembly with a petition of more than 2,800 signatures ahead of the debate on fracking. He said groups of worried residents had travelled from as far as Fermanagh and Sligo, with areas of both the north and south of Ireland affected by potential fracking operations.

Mr Agnew said fears over environmental damage and health concerns had seen the process halted in parts of the US, Germany, South Africa and France.

Assembly members cited tremors in an area of the north of England where fracking was being employed.
He said: “The people of Northern Ireland need a full review of this decision and a ban on this process. This process could severely impact our tourism industry, agriculture, our water quality, environment and our health.”


Where does this leave Carwyn Jones’ Labour administration in Cardiff Bay? Looking like King Canute in the face of the tide of concern and opposition to fracking. He needs to grasp the nettle and take an historic opportunity for the Welsh Government to make a telling impact on UK policy for a change, and unite with his Conservative rival Andrew RT Davies in calling for a moratorium on fracking related activity in Wales.

Also => BBC – Democracy Live – Hydraulic fracturing continued
6 December 2011


The title is “misleading” but the content of the article is good.  (7 December 2011)

Assembly backs call for fracking moratorium – (7 December 2011)

Northern Ireland Places fracking moratorium –

An environmental disaster in the making – by Tracy Murray and Aidin Killian


ASSEMBLY REPORT – will updated soon
and other reports

 Anti fracking demo in Enniskillen ( 4 February 2012)



Dissecting Tamboran’s PR figures

Fracking extraction is not ruled out




this is from the larne times that was in the 5-7-2012 paper.

huge underground/sea caverns are to be excavated to allow storage of
gas at high pressure.
The gas to be stored maybe Gas extracted by hyd Fracturing.

The similarities with the progression of this project is in some ways
similar to the way Fracking is being developed and
the reporting of.. or lack of it in media and information given over
to the public by government.

I dare say that many people throughout ireland might not be aware of
this and might feel it is a distraction, but i feel that
it could be a side project in the development of Shale Gas extraction
on the island of ireland and people
who might be against this project might also have sympathy with people
speaking out against Fracking.

This project (which is one of 3 in the same area) is huge.
Its is huge and has the potential to cause alot of enviro damage if it
goes ahead.
by the way… they are doing the same in England which they reckon is
in conjunction with the fracking there….
They are Creating huge salt excavated caverns near Hull.

Ireland’s €24 billion food and drink industry could be put at risk if fracking gets the go-ahead, a farm leader warned yesterday as hundreds of farm families gathered close to the Border to highlight concerns about the controversial method of shale gas extraction.

As the G8 delegations started to gather in Enniskillen yesterday, close to 60 tractors were involved in a “slow drive” to the renowned Ballroom of Romance in the Border village of Glenfarne, 25km away.

John Sheridan of the Ulster Farmers’ Union said the industry had spent a long time recovering from BSE, foot-and-mouth disease and a dioxin scare, and could not afford another crisis.

“Three of the five biggest infant milk producers in the world are based on the island of Ireland,” he said. “The food and drink industry is worth €24 billion in the South and probably close to €30 billion North and South – and fracking could ruin that industry.”

Key election issue
Pat Gilhooley, chairman of the Leitrim branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) predicted that this would be a key issue in next year’s local elections. “We have to turn up the heat,” he said. “The IFA is a lobby group which represents 90,000 people and I can assure you of our full support.”

Michael Gallagher, a farmer and member of the Love Leitrim group which campaigns against fracking, said farmers were worried about the risk to water and to their livestock from chemicals .

His farm is in Kiltyclogher, close to the family home of the 1916 leader Seán MacDiarmada, a distant relative.

“I often wonder what he [MacDiarmada] would think if he knew they wanted to frack under his home,” he said.

Eddie Mitchell, an organiser of yesterday’s rally, said it was crucial to show solidarity with people in Fermanagh who were further along the road in the licensing process.

“I think people wrongly believe that this is an issue which is confined to Leitrim and Fermanagh, but it will have an impact throughout the country ,” said Mr Mitchell .

Festive atmosphere
There was a festive atmosphere at the Ballroom of Romance, the inspiration for the William Trevor short story of the same name, as families gathered with a selection of “Not for Shale” and “Farming Not Fracking” placards .

“A lot of people thought it was a good way to spend Father’s Day, as after all what could be more important for families,” said Dervilla Keegan of the Love Leitrim group.

“The G8 people may not know we are here but it is important to make a statement,” said Mr Gallagher.