Northern Ireland agriculture minister ‘to block fracking’ on department land

Rural Minister Rules Out Fracking, Northern Ireland’s Agricultural Minister Michelle O’Neill has said that no fracking will take place on any land owned by her department by Northern Ireland News, September 30, 2013,
The announcement followed a question by Minister O’Neill’s colleague in Sinn Féin, Phil Flanagan. The scope of the statement includes the Forest Service, which accounts for 30,690 acres. 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.” [Emphasis added]

Northern Ireland agriculture minister ‘to block fracking’ on department land by Kevin Magee, September 30, 2013, BBC News NI
Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has said she will attempt to block any plans to use “fracking” on land owned by her department. … Australian mining company Tamboran has been granted a licence to explore for gas in the border counties of Fermanagh and Leitrim. The licence area covers thousands of acres of forestry land owned by the Department of Agriculture. If approval is sought to extract the gas using hydraulic fracturing or fracking, the minister said her department would have to be consulted. In a letter to her party colleague, assembly member Phil Flanagan, Mrs O’Neill said she would not agree to fracking taking place on land owned by the department. She said she was both “personally and politically concerned” about the process and any potential impact it could have on the environment. [Emphasis added]

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