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Flanagan tells Foster that Fermanagh is not Qatar

28 February, 2012 - by Phil Flanagan

Fermanagh & South Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan said the Enterprise, Trade & Investment Minister is reaching a new low in attempting to justify imposing fracking on the community.

The Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA said:

“Arlene Foster’s attempt at imposing fracking in the North has reached a new low with this ridiculous statement.

“Responding to concerns raised by Sinn Féin about the impact fracking would have on our tourism industry here, the Minister compared Ireland with Qatar.

“She put forward the argument that because Qatar is playing host to the 2022 World Cup and is aiming to host the 2020 Olympics, that gas exploration does not damage the tourist industry.

“Her complete lack of knowledge of the impact fracking will have here astounds me and what is worse, she appears not to be able to differentiate the difference in what tourists visit Qatar and rural Ireland for.

“People go to Qatar for the high life, the good weather and to experience a different culture, whereas tourists visit places like Fermanagh and Leitrim for our quiet and scenic environment, for tranquility, to sample our clean countryside and enjoy our natural environment.

“If fracking were to be imposed here, then all this would be in serious danger.

“Arlene Foster needs to realise that people will not visit Fermanagh or Leitrim to go on tours of gas exploration pads. The landscape that was once enjoyed will have been devastated forever.”

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