Half a million euro spent on policing during protest

It has been revealed that the PSNI spent £451, 828, over a half a million euros, on policing anti-fracking protests in Belcoo for three weeks.

It has been revealed that the PSNI spent £451, 828, over a half a million euros, on policing anti-fracking protests in Belcoo for three weeks.

The bill has been broken down to show overtime costing £317,442 while £134,386 was the charge for the regular duty time of the PSNI officers.

It amounts to £17,000 sterling per day to deal with protests at just the Belcoo Archer and Glover quarry site.

Several hundred people took part in the main protests which saw people in Fermanagh joined by fracking opponents from Leitrim, Sligo, Donegal and further afield.

The breakdown of policing costs were obtained by Sinn Fein’s Phil Flanagan, who said that if this expenditure had carried on in a similar vein for a year, it would have cost £7.8 million.

Sinn Fein are calling on fracking company Tamboran to foot the police bill for the protest during their test drills from Monday, July 21 until Monday August 11.

“This certainly raises questions about what the policing bill would be if fracking were to go ahead,’’ Mr Flanagan said.

“Fracking would take place on ‘’multiple sites over a long period of time,’’ he stated before adding, ‘’This was the cost of policing a single site for three weeks.

“It is wholly unacceptable that these monies should come out of the public purse at a time of serious pressures to the policing budget locally,’’ he warned.

Tamboran’s plans to continue exploratory drilling were turned down by Stormont’s Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan of the SDLP.

Tamboran Resources had understood they could conduct and exploratory bore hole under permitted development rights, without going through full planning permission.