Zero chemical promise on fracking is not enough

An anti-fracking protestor pictured outside Aras an Chontae recently.

An anti-fracking protestor pictured outside Aras an Chontae recently.

The ‘No Chemicals’ claim by gas company Tamboran Resources is not enough for those opposed to hydraulic fracturing and gas wells in Co Leitrim and surrounding counties.

By Fiona Heavey

Tamboran Resources who have a licence for gas exploration and plan to frack for gas in the Lough Allen Basin have declared a “zero-chemical hydraulic fracturing” pledge. CEO of the company Richard Moorman told the Leitrim Observer they will “conduct fracture stimulation with only sand and water cleaned or recycled at the surface.” He said, “We are taking this step because we want people to clearly understand that we will always act safely and responsibly in our operations.”

But these claims are not enough to convince the anti fracking campaigners that the extraction of shale gas from the local area will be safe.

Leah Doherty, member of Ardcarne Community Against Fracking which is part of the No Fracking Ireland network, told the Leitrim Observer, “Richard Moorman claims to meet hydraulic fracturing without chemicals, but whether or not those claims are successful, there are naturally occurring chemicals in the ground which if released could seriously endanger air and water.”

Ms Doherty who appeared on RTE’s Prime Time programme on the issue last Thursday, August 25 said that these chemicals and minerals underground are a “serious concern” if they escape into the air or are released into the water. She said there are reports which show there is “no evidence” that no chemical fracking is possible.

The Prime Time programme had a special report filmed in Drumshanbo,Tawnylust Manorhamilton and Dowra and spoke to a number of local campaigners. Local resident Gearoid Lynch said he believed the situation could turn into the new Rossport.

Leah Doherty outlined to the paper that the “industrialisation” of the area as a result of gas wells and pods will be “detrimental to tourism and agriculture.” She said that the claims of hundreds of jobs from this new industry would be “the detriment to the thousands of jobs” that currently exist in the area. She went on to state that gas extraction “could risk contaminating food produce.”

No Fracking Ireland are seeking for all gas licences to be “revoked” and for the Government to “take responsibility.” The group are looking for a ban on all drilling and for an investigation in to the new process.

According to Ms Doherty there are a large number of members of the No Fracking Ireland Group in Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo and Roscommon. The anti-fracking petition is still ongoing at

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.


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