Hostile atmosphere at Tamboran information meeting

The atmosphere was hostile at Tamboran’s public information meeting on shale gas drilling, last Wednesday, September 7 in The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon

The atmosphere was hostile at Tamboran’s public information meeting on shale gas drilling, last Wednesday, September 7 in The Bush Hotel, Carrick-on-Shannon

Around 500 people, the majority opposed to the fracking process used in such drilling, crowded into the large function room for the latest instalment of fracking information.

One week previously crowds attended a public information meeting by Lough Allen Conservation Society and on September 5 Tamboran gave a presentation to Leitrim County Council.

At the top table CEO of the company, Richard Moorman, sat with Geologist Dr Tony Bazley, Commercial Manager Karl Prenderville and Services Manager James Campbell who is from Carrick-on-Shannon

Michael Feeney from Killargue was the independent chairman of the meeting. Tamboran’s presentation was similar to the one showcased at the Leitrim County Council meeting.

Tamboran outlined that their main focus area in Leitrim will be from Manorhamitlon to Glenfarne and up to Kiltyclogher.

Richard Moorman outlined that they expect to drill 4 wells on one pad in the first year, move to 12 wells on two pads in year two, 20 wells on three pads in the third year, with years 6-8 being their busiest. By the end of the eighth year they expect to have three rigs with 24 wells and have nine pads.

He said Tamboran plan to employ 15 people for every three pads and in the long run they wish to drill over 100 pads.

There was a silent protest with placards which arrived halfway through the meeting and left after an hour of standing behind the Tamboran representatives’ table.

In a meeting that lasted for over four hours, many locals took the chance to ask questions of most concern to them. There were a number of relevant queries dealt with, but decorum left the room on a number of issues.

Chemicals have always been the main issue with fracking. At the meeting Mr Moorman said they will use zero chemical fracking but admitted the company will use chemicals in other areas of the process such as drilling.

A statement by Ballinaglera resident Aedín McLoughlin revealed that no money has passed between Tamboran and the Government for the option licence. She said, “The Government have handed over to you our mineral rights for nothing.”

Tamboran were adamant that the Irish regulators would monitor all aspects of the project, but locals voiced that they have little faith in the regulators.

Mr Moorman told the audience “Ireland needs this” gas extraction, he frequently pointed out Ireland imports 90% of energy supplies.

Carrick-on-Shannon Labour representative John Feely proposed three people representing the against, for and independent camps go see the fracking situation in America.

Terry McDermott suggested a moratorium for five years on the process, while others said we should leave it for 20 years and extract when it is at it’s highest price. Mary Rose Geoghegan said we need to prioritise food and clean water over energy. Tamboran said it just one month from specific site selections.

Tamboran are meeting with Cavan County Council this week and will hold an information meeting in the Slieve Russell Hotel, Ballyconnell, tonight, Wednesday, September 14.

• More details about this meeting on page 13.