Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has welcomed the decision by the six-county Environment Minister, Mark Durkan, to deny Tamboran permission to begin deep bore test drilling in Belcoo Fermanagh.
Mr Carthy said that Minister Alex White should follow this example and clearly state that his government will not allow this dangerous process to proceed in this state.
Mr Carthy said:
“I welcome the decision by Minister Durkan. It is clearly the right call giving the clear opposition to ‘fracking’ in the area. Sinn Féin had outlined that our Ministers would have blocked any proposal for hydraulic fracturing in the six counties at Executive level but the Ministers move will hopefully save the local community in Fermanagh and surrounding counties much stress and aggravation.
“I am calling on Tamboran to accept the democratic will of local communities who oppose their plans and cease from pursuing their plans in Ireland.
“I recently visited the site of the proposed deep bore test drilling in Belcoo and met with local campaigners. I did so because I am convinced that fracking would be detrimental to the local economy and natural environment. It would be particularly devastating for farming and tourism.
“As a member of the European Parliament’s Agriculture & Rural Development Committee I am particularly concerned about the impact of that shale extraction would have on farmers and the agri-food sector which are so crucial in this region.
“It is imperative now that Minister Alex White outlines his position. The decision by the previous Fianna Fáil government to permit fracking licence options to Tamboran Resources and The Lough Allen Natural Gas Company was entirely wrong. But so too has the failure of Fine Gael and Labour to put a halt to proceedings.
“In far too many instances in rural Ireland the concerns of local communities are ignored or dismissed. The move by Minister Durkan was the right one. Minister White must now follow suit”.