Love Leitrim welcomed the passing of the legislative ban on fracking as it completed the final stage in the Seanad on Wednesday June 28th and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
On welcoming the move Love Leitrim’s spokesperson Eddie Mitchell acknowledged that the community campaign had won by informing themselves about the issue, lobbying local and national representatives and by promoting the positive aspects of Leitrim and Ireland.
He added “As a small community it was a fight for its life. We have a right to live in a safe place. People didn’t have a choice but to get involved, this is our home, where our families are from, where our people are buried and these fields are the place where our children play.”
Love Leitrim could see at an early stage that this was a national and international issue not a local one.
Mitchell added “seeing the plight of communities in Canada and Australia acted as a warning for us, they showed us that you could stand up and make a change and be successful like communities in New York. We couldn’t afford to lose everything that was dear to us just like we saw others losing what was important to them.
Describing the thinking behind the successful strategy behind the Love Leitrim campaign Mitchell said “We did it by engaging the community, through participation and empowerment. We are proud of where we are from. We are proud of Leitrim and Ireland. We wanted to reflect what Leitrim was about, farmers, fishermen, artists, professionals, parents and about sustainability. This is about Ireland. We knew we wouldn’t win unless we brought everyone along. We understood that we had to convince everyone. We knew that we had to be non-political. We had to win over hearts and minds.”
“We by nature are close to the land and maybe we have become watchdogs like our parents before us. We have a responsibility to the land and each other and the life that the land nurtures. We feel privileged we can make a difference in our own small way in dealing with bigger challenges. We all have to be able to come together for the biggest fight the planet now faces, climate change. We hope that our successful campaign here will be a catalyst for other communities and show what can be achieved.”