GEAI welcomes the decision of Leitrim’s Councillors not to permit fracking.

On Monday 13th January, Leitrim County Council sent a strong message to Ireland’s Government and to the world:  The people of Leitrim are against Fracking, are united in saying that they will not permit it and any company planning to exploit shale gas should be aware of the strong opposition they will face if they try to carry out any operations in Leitrim.

A Notice of Motion was passed with a large majority that included a statement recognising the growing public concern with regard to the social, public health, economic and environmental impacts of UGEE (Unconventional Gas Exploration and Extraction).  Policies were proposed and passed that stated that UGEE projects or operations would not be permitted in the County.  Secondly, that UGEE operations in neighbouring counties would be scrutinised.  And thirdly, that a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment (HIA) would be required as part of the Precautionary Principle to be applied to any proposal for UGEE.

We in Good Energies Alliance Ireland welcome this development.  There is no doubt that a strong message has gone forth about the opposition to fracking in Leitrim and we can rejoice.

However, we also wish to strike a note of caution – if new National Policies are decided concerning Unconventional Gas Development in the future, Local Authority policies can be overthrown.  Our campaign is not over!  We need to keep focussed on the bigger picture and by using all means, especially advocacy, to influence national decision-makers and ensure that Unconventional Gas is never included as a desired source of energy in Ireland.