Irelands first Fracking Pad

Share Button


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.…

Continue reading

Fracking arrives on the island of Ireland (Indymedia)

Share Button

Fracking arrives on the island of Ireland

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:

Related Link:

(Northern) Ireland -almost – FRACKED Ireland will be no longer Fracking Free

Share Button

Since 2011 fracking is looming over Ireland. After years of informing people, writing letters, demonstrations, direct actions, taken legal actions, it seems that politicians and the big companies doesn’t care. Democracy and human rights are dead words.

At present the first rig in (Northern)  Ireland has arrivedand and is transported to Woodburn

rig arrived
drillforest (and sticks into the mud). Infrastrata will start testdrilling near a waterreservoir, supplying water for the entire Belfast eara. Despite scientific evidence, that fracking can not be done safe and often pollutes the water, the greed and ignorance seems to be unlimited, putting peoples health at risk.
(Duke study )

A legal action was succesfull, but despite this, the lorries are still driving into Woodburn forest.

A protestor had chained himself to the rig,
dril chain

another protestor was sitting peacefully on the ground,  both were removed by the PSNI
Mark, chained on the rig for 6 hours, until he was arrested.

13124710_1PAISLY ROAD CLOSED567149826917546_3688751152265214116_nRoad closed.



Upcoming Friday is the court case of another  protestor related to the Belcoo protest.

Woodburn forest – Work begins at County Antrim site of controversial oil well

Share Button


Contractors have begun work at the site of a controversial oil well in County Antrim.

On Monday, workers began felling trees at Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus.

The site clearance work comes ahead of a planned exploratory oil well which is due to start drilling in coming weeks.
Continue reading

Stop the Drill – action and meeting

Share Button

Please support events to Stop the Drill this week.


Please come to the Woodburn Forest on Monday morning 15th February. We believe oil company InfraStrata plans to commence work beside major water reservoir (North Woodburn Reservoir) with no Waste Management Plan in place.


Public Meeting, The Windrose, Rodgers Quay, Carrickfergus, Co.Antrim BT38 8BE at 7pm on Wednesday 17th Feb 2016.

Continue reading


Share Button

Protest Monday 15th
Woodburn Site Antrim

From Stop the Drill Antrim

“Site directions below for this Monday (15th Feb) at Woodburn Forest. Despite intense lobbying and questioning we end the week with no answers from the Council so we have to assume Infrastrata may plan to go on site on Monday without Waste Management approval. We are calling for a peaceful, positive show of opposition. Bring a picnic! We’ll also have a public meeting at the Windrose in Carrickfergus on Wednesday. So much support for the campaign this week. Thank you. Have a great weekend! #StopTheDrill
Directions to Woodburn Forest drill site.
Coming from northwest Antrim ; Leave Belfast bound M2 @ Templepatrick / Airport slip. Turn left for Doagh, Ballyclare, Larne. Follow signs to Carrickfergus taking 2nd exit @ Ballynure r’about. This is the Ballynure bypass, follow this road for approx 3 -4 miles turning right onto The New Line.( signed for Carrickfergus) follow for approx 1mile taking 2nd right onto Paisley Road.There is no road sign but you will pass Woodburn reservoir  on the right just before left turn to Paisley Road.The site enterance is approx 700 yds on left. Sat Nav post code. BT38 9AH.
Continue reading

Action Alert – husting in Manorhamilton

Share Button


<<Action Alert – come and challenge!>>

(not awaiting the outcome of an EPA report, not getting legal advice, just common sense!!)

Continue reading

Drill Antrim — Drill…

Share Button

Despite the lack of a Mining Wastes Assessment as highlighted by Paul Duffy, Head of Planning at Mid and East Antrim Council on Thursday Infrastrata are circulating letters to residents to say they will going onsite Monday  morning (15th February 2016)12662663_10154253057621874_1350920274180252716_n. This is the first drill of a 50 year lease agreed with NI Water. Peaceful opposition is called for now. This is a water catchment area for Belfast, Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey, Larne and Whitehead. We are doing everything we can to deal with the authorities. We will update again asap.
Continue reading