Announcements: November 05, 2016
Last Thursday, October 27th, history was made in Ireland. A Bill to prohibit exploration and extraction of Petroleum from shale, tight sands and coal seams was brought before government who unanimously supported the Bill and agreed to bring it to its next vital stage - the process towards becoming law. This Bill, when enacted, will act as a comprehensive ban on fracking, which is its primary objective. The campaign against fracking has won a significant victory and has proved that fracking is not wanted in Ireland and that opposition to fracking across all government parties.
The passing of the anti-fracking bill in the Dáil has been welcomed by farming communities who said that “fracking provides no upside for farmers but potentially a lot of downside in terms of our clean, green food image.” Instead, farmers are saying we need the Government to strongly favour renewable energy sources which can bring multiple benefits to farmers, the environment and to rural communities, while also helping the economy and climate change objectives. “This isn’t just a crucial step towards banning fracking, it is an historic first step towards a fossil-free future for Ireland,” said deputy director of Friends of the Earth, Kate Ruddock.
It is five years since Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI) was formed, to join the campaign against fracking in Ireland. Since then they have constantly lobbied, politically and though the media on the harms resulting from this industry. Mercy Global Action was involved in these campaigns and participated in several of its events to lobby and raise awareness. MGA invited Aedin McLoughlin, CEO of GEAI to several events in Baggot Street where she spoke and educated her audience on the dangers of fracking.
A turning point in the campaign was last year’s “Stop the Study” campaign, where GEAI spear-headed the drive against allowing the implementation of on-the-ground studies of the suitability of land in certain parts of Ireland. On a very wet day last November, MGA’s Catherine Gibbons and Betty Lacey joined the rally in front of Leinster House along with many other groups to put pressure on the government to listen! This was followed by an intense social media campaign and lobbying of government ministers, which certainly succeeded in raising awareness and resulting in the historic decision of October 27th.
Messages to: Betty Lacey - MGA Researcher
Image: iStock. Used under licence