Fracking firm gives €20,000 to forum


A GROUP of business people in north Leitrim have defended their decision to accept a €20,000 donation from a company which wishes to carry out hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the area.

The Manorhamilton Enterprise Forum, made up of “hardworking, decent, honest people struggling to make ends meet in the biggest recession we have known”, said it would not be deterred by those opposed to fracking.

The donation was given following a meeting with Tamboran Resources representatives on April 2nd. The forum, which represents businesses in Manorhamilton, accepted the money to fund a feasibility study and planning application for a hotel in the town.

Forum chairman Tony Feeney said the donation did not mean it approved of the controversial process of fracking, which opponents claim will contaminate the environment and lead to industrial over-development in Co Leitrim.

Fracking involves pumping high pressure water into deep wells to liberate gas reserves. Tamboran has stated that it intends to centre activities on a Border area surrounding north Leitrim and south Fermanagh.

Mr Feeney said the forum would be guided by the decision of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as to whether or not fracking was safe. The EPA is currently carrying out a study on the potential environmental impact of fracking in Ireland.

Local Sinn Féin TD Michael Colreavy said it was a “joke” for the forum to accept a donation to build a hotel when fracking could destroy the tourism potential of the area.