19 May 2022

Leitrim united against prospecting gold licences

Leitrim County Councillors unanimously back motion against North Leitrim prospecting licence

Treasure Leitrim members applaud Leitrim County Councillors after they unanimously backed the motion.

All six Manorhamilton area councillors came together to bring forward just one motion at this month's Leitrim County Council meeting - total condemnation of the granting of prospecting licences in North Leitrim.

The strongly-worded motion did not just reflect on the recent issuing of the prospecting licences in 47 townlands, it issued a stark message for the future: “There will never be a social licence/ consent for gold mining in the area.”

Cllr Frank Dolan said when the news came the licences were granted “it took us all by surpise,” he could not fathom how Minister Ryan had not taken into account over 2,000 submissions and the possible negative impact on north Leitrim.
Cllr Mary Bohan and greed and said this was the “last thing we want.”

She said tourism is so important to north Leitrim. She said it is hard to believe “we spent seven years fighting fracking, now for this to come.”
Cllr Justin Warnock, referring to Minister Eamon Ryan stated, “It beggars belief that an individual in a previous life opposed gold mining - could grant this licence.”
He added, “once they get their foot in, they are like rats.”
He asked was there really nothing local politicians could do to stop this. He said nroth Leitrim councillors stand “shoulder to shoulder” against this plan.

Cllr Padraig Fallon pointed out that the local Green Party are also opposed to this. He sought assurance that land owned by semi-state bodies would not allow access to this.
Cllr Felim Gurn said, “they are trying to destroy the land of North Leitrim.” Cllr Sean McDermott noted gold mining is “one of the most destructive in the world.”

Cllr Enda McGloin tried to bring some clarity on prospecting licences, informing members such licences have been issued since 1970s in north Leitrim and no mining licences followed upon. have followed.
These statements did not go down well with other members, Cllr Bohan said the prospecting licence would establish what is there and technology has moved on to easier extract it. Cllr Frank Dolan said he remembers little huts investigating gold in 1970s; "something was found" ... “now they want to pursue it.”

The motion received full support from all councillors and a letter is to be sent to the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minster Eamon Ryan.

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