National campaign group, Afri – Action From Ireland – is appealing to Clare TDs to follow the lead of the French government and work towards an immediate ban on fracking on the island of Ireland.
“Clare Council Council has already called for a fracking ban and now it is important that we see Clare politicians speaking out, including deputies Pat Breen, Joe Carey, Timmy Dooley, Michael McNamara, and Senator Tony Muncahy,” said Joe Murray, Afri coordinator.
County councils in Leitrim, Donegal, Sligo, Roscommon and Sligo have also passed motions calling for a ban, as has Omagh and Fermanagh District Council. Their opposition to fracking is shared by well known figures including Paul McCartney, Robert Redford, Matt Damon, Adrian Dunbar, Yoko Ono and Alec Baldwin.
Afri’s latest call comes amid growing protests in the border region where Australian mining company Tamboran Resources have begun preparatory drilling work in Belcoo, County Fermanagh.
According to Joe Murray, fracking is a short-sighted solution to job creation and energy supply, which he says compromises water supplies, farming, wildlife and air quality.
“The island of Ireland is one of the greenest places on earth but global mining corporations threaten this. Clare is one of the counties listed in an exportation licence that has been awarded. Clare is a particularly beautiful county, something that is increasingly appealing to tourists who wanted to get away from polluted cities throughout Europe.
“Everyone agrees we need jobs, investment and new sources of energy, but at what cost? What we need is a sensible long-term plan that makes both parts of the island global leaders in eco-tourism and green food and energy. That way we can create real and sustainable jobs that don’t cost the earth.
Fracking or ‘hydraulic fracturing’ is a controversial process that involves drilling down and injecting chemicals into the earth at high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas.
Several organisations, including Scientists for Global Responsibility and the US Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH), say fracking involves considerable environmental and public health risks, including risks to water supply, and that it undermines international efforts to tackle climate change, while failing to address energy issues of energy security, supply and affordability.