Upcoming Events

National | Environment

no events match your query!

User Preferences

  • Language - en | ga
  • text size >>
  • make this your indymedia front page make this your indymedia front page

Blog Feeds

forward

Irish Left Review
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left

offsite link Tom Redmond Thu May 21, 2015 13:06 | Communist Party of Ireland

offsite link Did New Labour Spend Too Much? Tue May 19, 2015 14:00 | Michael Burke

offsite link Drawing Lessons from the Public Sector Pay Talks Mon May 18, 2015 13:33 | Michael Taft

offsite link May issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now! Thu May 14, 2015 13:56 | Communist Party of Ireland

offsite link The Rationalist?s Defence of Injustice Sun May 10, 2015 22:09 | Bryan Wall

Irish Left Review >>

Spirit of Contradiction

offsite link Some Various Tidbits on #GE2015 Fri May 08, 2015 01:49 | Jerome Nikolai Warren

offsite link America’s Palestinians: Lessons from The American Indian Experience for Israel... Sun Mar 29, 2015 20:00 | Jerome Nikolai Warren

offsite link Spain is not Greece, or is it? Electoral prospects for the left in 2015. Thu Feb 05, 2015 19:00 | modulus

offsite link SYRIZA and Memnosyne Sat Jan 24, 2015 09:09 | CornetJoyce

offsite link Why the Workers’ Party Wed Jan 21, 2015 20:08 | Gavin Mendel-Gleason

Spirit of Contradiction >>

Public Inquiry
Just another WordPress site

offsite link Irish citizens – going radical

offsite link Love owns marriage – everything else is peripheral Anthony

offsite link The agony of Prince Charles Anthony

offsite link Anti Sinn Fein campaign: The penny begins to drop Anthony

offsite link Breaking: Gerry Adams foiled by anti-terrorist team Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link THIS BLOG HAS MOVED TO A NEW LOCATION VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link Good news out of Russia - even the "non-system" opposition refuses to blame the Kremlin VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link Nemtsov murder: Putin warned about exactly this type of "false flag" two years ago VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link DPR PM Zakharchenko presser 27/02/15 Economical and political future of DPR VINEYARDSAKER:

offsite link Breaking news: FALSE FLAG IN MOSCOW! VINEYARDSAKER:

The Saker >>

Objections to fracking for gas in the Lough Allen Basin

category national | environment | opinion/analysis author Thursday September 15, 2011 16:34author by Edward Durand Report this post to the editors

There have been widespread objections to the granting of licences to drill for gas in the Lough Allen Basin. At the moment the only way of extracting the gas is the controversial practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

how fracking works
how fracking works

There have been widespread objections to the granting of licences to drill for gas in the Lough Allen Basin. At the moment the only way of extracting the gas is the controversial practice known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Large amounts of gas have been located underground in the area under and around Lough Allen, spanning several counties in the North West. The gas has been seen as a solution to our economic difficulties but many see the environmental and health costs, and risks to their businesses, as too great. Also the people don’t reap the benefits of the gas, only the companies.

Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It gets its name from the underground fracturing of the bedrock to access the gas. Fracking is the 8 year old process of multi-stage hydro-fracturing with horizontal drilling. The process involves drilling 1-8,000 feet down and horizontally for up to a mile. Then they pump in millions of gallons of water, sand and thousands of gallons of chemicals at high pressure. This fractures the ground, enabling gas to flow. 6-7,000 tankers of water are pumped into each well and 2-300 are removed. The documentary film ‘Gasland’, written and directed by Josh Fox, has brought the issue into the public domain.

Licences have been given to three companies for shale gas exploration by the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources. The full area covered by the licences is nearly 750 square kilometres, including ecologically sensitive areas such as the Geopark area around Lough Allen. The list of townlands affected comes to 31 A4 pages. The companies granted licences in the area around Lough Allen are the Lough Allen Natural Gas Company and an Australian company called Tombora. Groups such as the Lough Allen Conservation Association have called for either a ban or a moratorium on fracking. Many individuals, such as local farmers and fishermen, have also voiced their concerns.

In America where many wells have been fracked, massive poisoning of the water supply from the gas and chemicals has been reported. People’s tapwater has gone on fire when lit. Animals have died and people have become ill in communities where fracking has taken place. The water has been tested in some of these cases and has been found to contain gas and toxic chemicals. There are over 596 chemicals used in fracking, including Benzene, Ammonia and Dimethyl Formaldehyde. These pollutants have a cumulative effect over time. As well as the environmental and health concerns, there are concerns about a constant stream of trucks going to and from the drill sites 24/7.

65 of the chemical compounds used in the fracking process are believed to be hazardous to human health, some are known carcinogens. The EPA, Duke University and other scientific bodies have recently found that there is a risk of contamination of water supplies by the toxic chemicals used in the process. For those who live near the gas wells this is not academic conjecture but a reality as their water is often undrinkable. In America companies were able to drill because President Bush signed an exemption for oil and gas companies to environmental legislation. Drinking water wells are not separate aquafers but are all connected underground, this poses a risk to their contamination. The river Shannon flows through many of these shale gas areas, it also supplies water to many counties. The companies involved are being economical with the truth, first they said they won't use chemicals, meaning only in the exploratory drilling. Then they said they won't use chemicals in fracking, meaning only in the fracturing not the other parts of the process.

Due to the evidence of the risks, a moratorium on fracking has been put into place in a few different countries so far. With clean water increasingly becoming an issue, people are more keen to protect their water supply, realising you can’t put a price on a clean water supply. There are sustainable ways to get power such as wind, wave and solar power. Several groups, as well as individuals, are standing up to defend their water supply, environment and their businesses from the risks associated with fracking. They don’t want inflammable water in their taps and formaldehyde in their children. People are seeing that clean water is more valuable than cheap gas.

author by Kieran Lynch - Lough Allen Conservationpublication date Sun Sep 25, 2011 01:46author email kieranlynch123 at gmail dot comauthor phone 0872402418Report this post to the editors

Dear Sir,

I agree that this process is at best unsafe if not downright dangerous there is nothing in this process for that local people according to a learned gentleman at a public meeting in the Mayflower ballroom Drumshanbo Co Leirtrim last night this will be a wild cat drilling operation, that means the work will be carried out by specialists from abroad as soon as the project is viable it will be sold on to somebody else to develop it.

I would also point out that the mineral rights in all of Ireland has already been given away by Sean Lemass in 1958 for the princely sum of £500 see article in History Ireland July/Aug 2011 it is surprising that no media body will highlight this fact or ask for a public inquiry as to why this sale took place, any meetings I have attended have been boycotted by RTE and all national media and I might also most of our so called politicians were also missing

Kieran Lynch

 
© 2001-2015 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy