Dr Eilish Cleary (picture AG)
Dr John Graham (picture AG)
Last monday, Dr Eilish Cleary, Chief Medical Officer of Health in New Brunswick, Canada, came to Enniskillen and gave a presentation about her report “Recommendations Concerning Shale Gas
Development in New Brunswick”. Around 150 people attended at the event organized and facilitated by Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network. (FFAN). Gary McFarlane, director of Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and co-chair of the Public Health Alliance introduced her lecture. This institution works “to assist in reestablishing the critical links between environment and health within the context of sustainable development and public health”. Dr John Graham, retired Public Health physician, closed the conference and opened the debate with the attendance.
From her experience in New Brunswick, Eilish Cleary warned that public health is not included in the fracking process, and that a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is as much important as Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). She observed “significant gaps in data” and that “Public Health officials and experts have often been late or absent from discussions about shale gas regulations in most juridictions”.