Protesters outside Leitrim County Council Office in Carrick-on-Shannon on Monday last were calling for “an immediate and permanent ban” on Fracking in Ireland.
By Fiona Heavey
The group made up of concerned residents from all over Leitrim as well as national campaigners held the protest outside the offices Monday morning before the new Cathaoirleach was elected. The protesters lobbied councillors as they arrived for the Council AGM and sought signatures on the petition for the ban as well as their support against fracking on Lough Allen.
“Water is one of the basic essentials for life. Without it, almost nothing can survive,” read a statement by the protesters. They said that the chemicals used in Hydrolic fracturing “have the potential to leach into underground rivers and streams, thus contaminating all water in the surrounding area. If this were to happen in the Lough Allen Basin, it would mean no clean drinking water for large parts of Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Cavan and Fermanagh. As responsible individuals, we are duty bound to make a stand against this threat to our land, ground water, health and of course the natural beauty of our homeland.”
“Once those chemicals are released, it cannot be reversed,” a worried Mary Rose Geoghegan from Aghacashel told the Leitrim Observer.
Izzy O’Rourke from Drumcong said Cllr Enda McGloin gave them a “commitment” to investigate the process and if fracking is the preferred route, he will “oppose it.” The protesters want councillors to be united against this from a local planning aspect. Many of them want the exploration process to cease immediately as the gas companies have already stated they expect to use hydrolic fracturing to extract the gas.
Jean Moran from Carrigallen told the paper ”If this fracking goes ahead, I will leave this country,” - showing her strong opposition to the process. She is fearful about how fracking will effect our health, the health of future generations as well as that of livestock. Mary Rose Geoghegan said that “Ireland has the highest rate of Cancer in Europe, and Leitrim has one of the highest rates within Ireland.”
Charlie Perpoil living in Aughacahel said a moratorium on fracking has been put in place in France as well as New York.
Vidad Valentine from Leitrim Village was dressed up as a creature with six arms, he said he was “serving as a warning to the effects of fracking.”
The protesters outlined they were “working class citizens,” many of whom had given up work for the day to voice their opinion.
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.