Treasure Leitrim members applaud Leitrim County Councillors after they unanimously backed the motion.
Leitrim County councillors have unanimously backed a motion calling on the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan to halt plans to grant a gold and silver prospecting licence in North Leitrim.
The minister recently published a notice of intention to grant the licence which covers 40 townlands.
At Monday's Council meeting, all six Manorhamilton Municipal District councillors brought forward a joint motion on the prospecting licence noting that it was “unacceptable” and “should not go ahead”.
Cllr Mary Bohan said that all six municipal district councillors had felt so strongly about the issue that they decided to forgo individual motions in favour of this joint proposal.
“There are serious concerns over the environmental and visual impact of any mining in North Leitrim,” she said adding that it was frustrating to have to fight this new “threat” to the area following the lengthy battle against fracking.
“Rest assured,” she warned, “whether there is gold or not this will be of no benefit to the local communities, just to the mining company.”
She said that this threat to scenic areas of the county could not be accepted and mining would “destroy the area”.
She also questioned claims that the prospecting process would be “non invasive” and have “minimal impact” before adding this motion should also be sent to the Taoiseach.
Cllr Padraig Fallon agreed there would be “little benefit for Leitrim or this country” from mining operations adding “we're really insistent that this (prospecting licence) not proceed”.
He described it as “ironic” that a Green Party Minister for Environment was even contemplating this sort of licence.
Cllr Justin Warnock said that he did not trust Minister Eamon Ryan not to grant the licence.
“There are no votes for the Green Party in Leitrim so they don't really care,” he said.
“But we must acknowledge the fact that the people of Leitrim have the right to say 'no' to this licence.”
He stated this licence is particularly worrying, with the potential for North Leitrim to become a national park, now being considered.
Call For public to make objections
The Treasure Leitrim group say they are continuing their call for the public to make objections to the proposed license before the November 7 deadline.
They also noted this can be done online using Friends of the Earth's online objection page: www.foe.ie/takeaction/object-to-mining-licences-in-leitrim/ or by posting an objection to Geoscience Regulation Office, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, 29-31 Adelaide Road, Dublin, D02 X285 or sending it via email: GSRO@DECC.gov.ie
The group says they have received correspondence from the Geoscience Regulation Office in the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, confirming that Minister Ryan does not have to issue the license to Flintridge Resources.
“Treasure Leitrim are asking the Minister to stand with communities that will be impacted by the decision he makes and not to stand with the extractive mining industry,” said Treasure Leitrim this week.
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