The Timeline of the Stop the Study Campaign
September: Visit to fracking areas and information from EPA on CDM Smith and AMEC involvement in study .
October: Campaign starts to raise awareness of CDM Smith links with oil/gas industry
November: Rally in front of Leinster House and Presentations to Oireachtas members
December: Joint Oireachtas Committee grills EPA for 3 hours. Ban Fracking Bill introduced to Dáil Eireann. Minister McHugh requests interim report
February: Report on Study stalled: Phase 1 to be published Q3 of this year; no decision on Phase 2.
For more detail of the campaign events, CLICK HERE
This was a completely cross-party campaign.
The main Oireachtas player was Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy, who put a lot of work into the campaign against fracking from the start and into this campaign in particular. Michael was instrumental in getting us the room in Leinster House, also (with Paschal Mooney) in calling the EPA before the JOC in December. He also ensured that he was briefed properly before each event. Michael was very insistent that the campaign was cross-party.
Fine Gael TD Tony McLoughlin supported the campaign by asking Parliamentary Questions and arranged one meeting with Minister McHugh.
Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney, also a member of the JOC, was very supportive during the campaign, especially in arranging the presence of EPA at the Meeting in December.
People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett grilled the EPA with great effect and introduced a Ban Fracking Bill to the Oireachtas, thus increasing awareness of fracking among the politicians nationally. Clare Daly TD was also effective from the floor of the Dáil.
The Stop the Study Campaign workers acknowledge the support given by all of the above, without which its success could not have been achieved.
The Study has indeed been stopped. Forever? Who knows! Without this campaign, the tenders for on-the-ground monitoring would be awarded by now. But the campaign doesn’t end here. In the Press Release (6th Feb), it was stated that the campaign against fracking is not over, only legislation will prevent fracking from ever coming to Ireland. Our challenge now is to ensure that such legislation is drafted by the next government and gets cross-party support. Let 2016 be the year that Ireland officially bans fracking!