Following an adjournment of the report stage in the Dáil last Wednesday, the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016 has now passed the fifth and final stage in the Dáil. The bill will now be passed from the Dáil to the Seanad for examination. As long as there are no amendments proposed by the Seanad, the bill will be returned to the Dáil and then sent to the President for signing into law. This is a significant day in the campaign and one that Love Leitrim have been working towards for the past six years. All parties in the Dáil were in agreement that fracking should not take place on the island of Ireland. Many members of the Dáil expressed their concern that the bill does not include a prohibition of off-shore fracking but were still in favour of this bill. Deputy Boyd-Barrett and Deputy Wallace stressed the need for a ban on off-shore fracking and while the other members of the Dáil agreed in principle with this, there was a desire not to delay the bill by attempting to include further amendments.
LoveLeitrim agree that fracking should be banned not only off-shore but within the entire Island and waters of Ireland. The group will continue to support a push for an all out prohibition of fracking in Ireland.
Minister Eamon Ryan TD had submitted an amendment (4a) in the last few days to propose a Ban on issuing of licences by Minister in an effort to prevent off-shore fracking but the amendment was not accepted. There were acknowledgements given to the various groups involved in the campaign, particularly in Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Clare and Fermanagh. Thanks were expressed to Minister Tony McLoughlin and his team, LoveLeitrim, Concerned Health Professionals of Ireland (CHPI), Good Energies Alliance Ireland (GEAI), Friends of the Earth Ireland and former Minister Michael Colreavey. As an exceptional measure, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Leas Ceann Comhairle, accepted the applause from the groups present in the Gallery after the bill was passed. This is a great day for Ireland and proof that our political system can indeed work for the good of the people.
We look forward to the day, very soon, when the President is presented with the bill for signing.