Bravo Brava Courage, Compassion, Community! Republic of Ireland Frack Ban Completes Final Stage: Seanad passes fracking ban!

Campaigners celebrate as Seanad passes fracking ban by Leitrim Observer Reporter, 28 Jun 2017,

Love Leitrim has welcomed the passing of the legislative ban on fracking as it completed the final stage in the Seanad today, Wednesday June 28 and will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.

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.”

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.”

He stated, “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.”

The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016 will now enter into law after passing Committee Stage in the Seanad this afternoon.

The Environmental Pillar – a coalition of 26 Irish environmental NGOs – says the decision will help safeguard our water quality, natural environment and the health and well-being of communities across Ireland.

The Pillar is delighted that the Bill can now be added to the burgeoning global move against fracking, and highlight to the world Ireland’s acknowledgment of the significant risks and negative impacts associated with unconventional fossil fuel extraction.

The Bill brought by Sligo-Leitrim TD Tony McLoughlin has received widespread support from across the political spectrum and was the first private members Bill to pass through the Dáil.

The historic move now puts Ireland in the top tier of the global movement to ban fracking, becoming only the third European country to ban the practice after France and Bulgaria, and is an important marker of our commitment to tackling climate change and moving to a sustainable low carbon economy.

Aedín McLoughlin, Environmental Pillar spokesperson and GEAI Director said, “We are delighted with the decision which makes it very clear that the risks associated with the deeply damaging practice of fracking are just too significant to ever let it take place here.

“The long road is travelled and we have come successfully to its end. For six years we have looked forward to this day, when the Irish government would ban fracking and protect our rural environment and communities from this industry that poisons drinking water and air.

“We congratulate everyone involved – our fellow campaigners who never gave up the struggle to make this issue a national one; our local and national representatives who spoke out against fracking in Councils throughout Ireland as well as the Dáil; and our TDs and Senators who unanimously supported the Bill.

“Ireland may now hold its head high as it joins the ranks of countries that have banned fracking.” [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to:

2017 06 18: What’s a Frack Ban For? For Country, Security, Public Health, Safe Food & Drinking Water! For Communities, Farm & Family and Democracy! What Does Fracking Bring? Lots of Permanent Harms, Eradication of Long Term Jobs, “Widespread industrialisation, permanent environmental degradation, and severe damage to public health.”

Fortunately, in Ireland people still have access to politicians. People can talk to local politicians, who are their neighbours; they talk to their national ones. We invited people from Canada and the US to Leitrim to hear their story. One of them, Jessica Ernst, stood on the stage at Leitrim’s iconic Ballroom of Romance and said “have some sympathy for your politicians, because they’re being lied to.”

We never walked away

2017 05 31: Ireland “Victory for the long term.” Frac bill passed in Dail! “The scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that permitting fracking in Ireland and Northern Ireland would pose significant threats to the air, water and the health and safety of individuals and communities here.”

Just one of the many harms the Irish protected themselves from:

2017 06 28: Nikiforuk at his Masterful Best: Energy Industry Legacy: Hundreds of Abandoned Wells Leaking Methane in Alberta Communities, Tyee obtains unreleased report that shows leaks pose threats to health, explosion risk

Ernst’s water hauling tank (185 gallons – how long would that much water last your family?) by Encana’s noisy compressors that continue to violate Ernst’s legal right to quiet enjoyment of her home and land (Encana’s straw bale wall was recently removed. It’s been up for more than a decade, noise “mitigation” facade – in Encana abusive bullying style)

Ernst speaking events in Ireland:


2012 02 25 Jessica Ernst at the Teachers Club in Dublin Republic of Ireland

2012 02 24 Jessica Ernst at Glenfarne Republic of Ireland

2012 02 23 Jessica Ernst at Carrick on Shannon Republic of Ireland

2012 02 21 Jessica Ernst at Belcoo Northern Ireland

2013 Jessica Ernst Ireland and UK Speaking Tour 2013 Fracking Community: Actions and Omissions Speak Louder than Words

Return to Alberta March 12, reunited with Magic at midnight. Tragically, magic became ill from the stress of Ernst’s many long speaking tours helping communities protect themselves from fracing. He died 8 months after this photo was taken.

2013 Ireland / UK Tour Slides – Fracking Community: Actions and Omissions Speak Louder than Words

Meg Rybicki and Jessica Ernst present on frac’ing in Dublin, Smock Alley Theatre, Exchange Street Lower, Temple Bar, Dublin 2, 8 PM March 11, 2013, Republic of Ireland

We’ve had an amazing response to our planned talk with Jessica Ernst on Monday night. We had booked a space with room for 70, but by Wednesday all 70 tickets had been reserved and our waiting list was already filling up! So we’ve booked an even bigger space in The Smock Alley to hold More people! Book now to secure your place for Monday’s 6.30pm talk. The reports from around the country, where Jessica has been speaking, are of a very powerful presentation on the impact of fracking in Canada. …

The campaign against Fracking in Ireland scored a notable victory yesterday. Minister Fergus O’Dowd announced that two companies have applied for exploration licences to frack but that no decision will be made on their applications until the EPA research on Fracking is published, and considered by Government. With the EPA research not expected until early 2015 this amounts to an effective 2-year moratorium on fracking.

Criostoir Mac Cuirc Shell to Sea and Jessica Ernst present at National University of Ireland, Maynouth 12 Noon, March 11, 2013

Jessica Ernst Canadian Scientist Living Frac’d presents at Ireland’s Natural Resources Not for Sale Conference Gresham Hotel, Dublin March 10, 2013, Republic of Ireland

March 9, 2013:  Walk in Ashdown Forest, UK

2012 Second speaking tour Ernst in Ireland & UK, Vanessa Vine Jessica Ernst in Ashdown Forest, home of Winnie the Pooh

This afternoon, after giving her powerful “Fracking Community” presentation on International Womens’ Day in Balcombe last night, Jessica walked on Ashdown Forest, the land of Winnie the Pooh…. This evening she is already back on the Emerald Isle…. Photo by BIFF! (Britain and Ireland Frack Free)

Jessica Ernst at Victory Hall, Balcombe 70 Min. by Frackoffuk, March 8, 2013, United Kingdom

“Nobody came to me and said, ‘here’s the choice:  light? .. or water?’ “

“When there are hurricanes, floods, locusts, hail .. the governments help people. When you are frac’d – there’s no aftercare.”

The end of the battle

Source: The Art of Remembering: the Neville Lytton First World War Frescos and the Balcombe Victory Hall 

Fracking Community A Talk with Canadian Scientist Jessica Ernst at The United Reform Church, St. Georges Road, St. Annes March 7, 2013, United Kingdom

Tina Louise and Jessica Ernst during Q and A, St Annes, Lancashire UK

Jessica Ernst, Lucy Cooke and Ian Roberts at Cuadrilla’s Frac Site on March 7, Anna’s Road, Lancashire, UK

Jobs for Locals?

Jessica Ernst, Ian Roberts and Lucy Cooke, one of Cuadrilla’s straw bale walls at Anna’s Road frac site, Lancashire UK

Gary McFarlane, Director N Ireland Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and Jessica Ernst at Peter Frogatt Centre, The Queen University of Belfast March 6, 2013, Northern Ireland

Jessica Ernst at Stormont, Parliament of Northern Ireland March 6, 2013

Jessica Ernst and Steven Agnew at Stormont, March 6, 2013

Jessica Ernst in Dublin March 5, 2013, after presenting at Oireachtas Éireann, signing Application for a Licence Not to Frack Ireland

Jessica Ernst at Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare 71 Min. by Clare Fracking Concern, March 4, 2013, Republic of Ireland


Eddie Mitchel, Leitrim Farmer talks about fracing at Old Ground Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare 18 Min. by Clare Fracking Concern, March 4, 2013

Jessica Ernst at Leitrim Village Community Centre Fracking Community: Actions and Omissions Speak Louder than Words March 2, 2013, Republic of Ireland

March 2, 2013, Jessica Ernst on a walk in Glenfarne after 24 hours of travel

Lough Mac Nean

Weary Ernst admiring clean Irish water – a lost natural resource in Alberta ]

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