6th July 2017 was a historic day in the Republic of Ireland, the Bill to ban onshore fracking was signed into law by President Michael D Higgins.

The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill brought by Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin received generalized support from across the political parties.

Deputy McLoughlin expressed his delight that the Bill will be made into law to “protect hundreds of thousands of people from the harmful and damaging effects of hydraulic fracking”.

“The passing of the Bill has been a great victory for local campaigners and a boost for the global climate movement,” said Niall Sargent, representing the Environmental Pillar, a coalition of 26 Irish environmental organisations.

According to the Pillar, its members Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) and Friends of the Earth (FoE) Ireland campaigned “relentlessly” with grassroots movements, such as Love Leitrim across the country to get the prospect of a ban put on the political agenda.

Aedín McLoughlin, the Director of GEAI, also heaped praise on the campaigners who “never gave up the struggle to make this issue a national one”.

“The long road is travelled and we have come successfully to its end,” she said. “For six years we have looked forward to this day when the Irish government would ban fracking and protect our rural environment and communities from this industry that poisons drinking water and air”.

It wasn’t easy but fracking is now officially banned in Ireland. Congratulations to all!