Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Carbon Storage Testing Should Not Take Place Without Public Debate - Flanagan

Published: 20 July, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said that proposals for carbon storage in Fermanagh, Leitrim and Cavan should have been discussed with the local community before representatives from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) commenced their IRECCSEM project.

Mr Flanagan said:

"Once again, a novel technology is being proposed for the people of this region, without any meaningful public debate on the nature of the proposals.

"Hot on the heels of the frackers being rejected by the local community, these organisations, GSNI and GSI, which so often were the mouthpiece of Tamboran during recent times, should have learnt from their mistakes with that process.

"The people of Fermanagh, Leitrim and Cavan are not prepared to sit idly by and be treated as guinea pigs for yet another invasive and potentially dangerous technology.

"Attempting to do this without engaging with the local community through a public discussion is yet another serious act of bad faith.

"They expect landowners to allow them onto their land without telling them what the results will be used for and whether they will be handed over if another fracking licence is awarded in the future.

"I am seeking an urgent meeting with those behind this proposal to raise my concerns not only about the underhand manner in which they are going about this process, but also to put on record my belief that this area is not suited to carbon storage due to the geology that exists here.

"The way this has been handled does not look good.

"Local residents are rightly untrusting of agencies such as these that have implicated themselves in the fracking process.

"Land owners would be fully justified in denying anyone seeking access to their land as part of this programme until the whole community knows more about what is happening and whether any information gathered will be used to help pro-fracking advocates in the future."