A delegation of Sinn Féin representatives has this morning visited the site of an anti-fracking protest near Belcoo. The protest began on Monday following the erection of security fencing and the announcement that Tamboran plan to drill an exploratory borehole on the site.
The delegation, which included Fermanagh & South Tyrone representatives Michelle Gildernew MP and Phil Flanagan MLA along with Sligo/North Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy and a number of councillors from Fermanagh & Leitrim, met with protestors at the site and discussed the current situation.
Speaking after the visit, Michelle Gildernew MP said:
"Sinn Féin's position on this issue is very clear; we remain solidly opposed to any form of fracking anywhere in Ireland."Our party has continually stood with the people of Fermanagh in opposition to fracking, which would have a devastating impact on the natural environment, on the local tourism sector and on our national agri-food industry.
“Sinn Féin fully supports those that are involved in campaigning against fracking across Ireland and we wanted to extend our solidarity to all of those involved in sending a very clear message that fracking, or any of its preparatory works, are not wanted in any part of our country by visiting the camp near Belcoo.
“I am seeking an urgent meeting with the Environment Minister Mark H Durkan to discuss these proposals and to press upon him that this application under permitted development rights needs to be subjected to the full rigours of the planning process as has been the case with similar applications in other areas due to the environmental sensitivities involved.
“The local community is rightly angry about the manner in which this process has been carried out to date, with no respect being given to their views on whether the issuing of licences was wanted or indeed whether it is even safe for any exploration or extraction works to take place.”