The “Sign the Pledge” campaign, coordinated by Fracking Free Network, is a big success. 154 candidates in this year’s General Election have so far personally signed the pledge against fracking! From all parties and from all constituencies, candidates have committed to support legislation that will ban fracking in Ireland. There is no doubt that the issue of fracking is now a national rather than a local issue. Candidates from Cork and Kerry, from Donegal and Dublin, from Galway and Wexford have indicated that they will work to ensure that fracking will never be introduced to Ireland.
However, the response of the major parties has been disappointing. Two out of the three Fine Gael candidates from Sligo-Leitrim, Tony McLoughlin and John Perry, signed the pledge. (Gerry Reynolds, the 3rd FG candidate, didn’t sign.) However, no other FG candidates nationally have signed. Only 14 Fianna Fáil candidates have signed the pledge despite supporting a ban on fracking in their Energy Paper last year. And only 16 candidates from Sinn Féin have signed so far despite their public opposition to fracking.
“It was the smaller parties and independents who gave us this amazing result”, said Jamie Murphy, from Fracking Free Network. “The Green Party and Anti Austerity/People Before Profit parties gave wholehearted support to the pledge, as did many Independents. It is very worrying that the major parties, who are likely to form the next government, still will not commit to supporting legislation to ban fracking.”
The “Sign the Pledge” campaign continues until Thursday evening (votefrackfree.org). Even at this stage, candidates are being contacted and urged to sign the pledge. “It’s very clear that our work is not over”, Jamie concluded. “The campaign against fracking must continue, after the election it will focus on getting legislation to ban fracking passed by our future government.”