Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed confirmation by the Minister for Agriculture & Rural Development Michelle O’Neill MLA that she will not agree to fracking taking place on any DARD owned land, including Forest Service, which accounts for 30,690 acres or 16.5% of Tamboran’s total licence area of 185,082 acres.
The Minister was responding to a letter from Mr Flanagan asking for such a commitment.
In her response, Minister O’Neill said:
“During my time as Minister of this Department I would not agree to fracking taking place on land owned by my department.”
Welcoming the commitment, Mr Flanagan said:
“This is a very positive move and demonstrates Sinn Féin’s commitment to opposing fracking anywhere in Ireland.
“The risks associated with fracking have long been debated and it is widely accepted across Ireland that fracking is not in the best interests of our people, of our environment or of our economy.
"Fracking poses a very real risk to the success of our farming industry, which is vital in counties like Fermanagh & Leitrim.
“It is therefore very welcome that the Minister with responsibility for protecting the agriculture sector, forestry and rural development has vowed to block any proposals to allow fracking to take place on any of her department’s lands.”