Roscommon council calls for 'fracking' ban


CAMPAIGNERS HAVE welcomed the unanimous decision of Roscommon County Council calling for a ban on the method of shale gas extraction known as “fracking” in the county.

A motion calling for the ban and urging Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte to accede to the wishes of councillors of all parties was passed following a presentation this week from the north Roscommon-based Ardcarne Community against Fracking group. Mayor of Roscommon Eugene Murphy said he believed Roscommon was the first county council to call for such a ban. He said the council had invited representatives from Tamboran Resources, one of two companies granted licences to carry out preliminary exploration in the Lough Allen basin, to address its February meeting.

“We hope when they see that 26 members of the council from all parties voted for a ban that they will realise how strongly we feel.”

Independent councillor Tony Aard, who proposed the ban, said he accepted the council did not have the power to decide the issue but added: “I don’t think the Minister should override the wishes of the 26 members . . . who were elected to represent the people”.