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

Sinn Féin Representatives Meet with DIAS over IRECCSEM

Published: 7 August, 2015

Sinn Féin Fermanagh & South Tyrone MLA Phil Flanagan and Sligo-Leitrim TD Michael Colreavy today met with Dr. Volker Rath and Prof. Chris Bean from the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies (DIAS) to discuss concerns relating to their research into the potential for onshore carbon storage in Fermanagh, Leitrim and Cavan.

Speaking after the meeting, Phil Flanagan said:

"We welcome the willingness of representatives from DIAS to engage with us to hear our concerns about the potential outworkings of this research project.

"The delegation from DIAS acknowledged that the findings from this project could be used by companies hell-bent on forcing fracking onto our communities and as a result, they fully appreciate the sensitivities that exist in the local area about this work.

"The rationale given to the local community for this project at all stages was that DIAS were exploring the potential for carbon storage in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin. This raised questions for the local community as a previous study found that the geology of this area was completely unacceptable for such a purpose."

Michael Colreavy TD said:

"The representatives from DIAS have now recognised that the original stated objectives of the project were 'unintentionally murky.'

"We fully accept that those behind this project never sought to mislead the local community, that their intentions are genuine and they are solely involved in trying to establish whether the methodology used to establish the geology of a given area is accurate.

"It is clear that those behind this project were not aware of the current sensitivities in the local community around the threat of fracking. They now accept that they should have more aware of these concerns before the commenced this project.

"They told us that they have no links with any fracking company nor is their work aimed at helping those companies. They have also stated that they will not proceed with this project while concerns exist within the local community. For us, that is a very sensible approach and one we warmly welcome."