Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has called for an all-Ireland ban on fracking in response to the announcement by Australian energy firm Tamboran that it has applied once again for an exploration license that could lead to fracking in Fermanagh, despite failing to succeed in its previous application due to community opposition.
Carthy, EU candidate for the Midlands North West, said: "The people of Fermanagh have already made their views on fracking clear – they firmly rejected Tamboran’s previous application to frack shale gas near Belcoo in 2014. Their views are shared by communities on both sides of the border.
"The dangers of fracking don’t stop at the border," he warned.
Around the world there is a major anti-fracking movement, due to the dangers it poses to public health, land and water – as well, of course, as contributing to climate change.
"This time two years ago the Dáil passed legislation banning on-shore fracking, a move that came about due to the campaigning work of communities supported by Sinn Féin and others.
"This meant the southern state became one of the first to take the lead in banning fracking. This ban needs to be extended across the entire island. Multinational companies cannot be allowed to take advantage of Brexit to try to procure fracking licenses in the North," he stated.
Leitrim Sinn Féin councillor Pádraig Fallon added: "Fracking involves pumping water, sand and chemicals into a gas well at high pressure in order to increase the permeability of the shale or coal bed, improving the ability to pump gas or oil.
"Topping the list of fracking risks are water contamination, subsidence of the ground surface, seismic activity (earthquakes), fugitive emissions and leaking of toxic wastewater.
"In the US, where fracking for shale oil and gas is most developed, it has been proven to have caused earthquakes in Ohio, and to have contaminated the water supply of communities in Pennsylvania.
"This proposed exploration licence does not only threaten the health, water and land of the people of Fermanagh but those of the neighbouring counties too, especially Leitrim and the border counties.
"The Irish government needs to insist that fracking cannot take place anywhere on this island," Cllr Fallon said.