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Dáil welcomes Bill to ban fracking in Ireland

The Bill to ban the controversial fossil fuel exploration process has passed its first stage in the Dáil.

shutterstock_344191247 Source: Shutterstock/Christopher Boswell

A BILL CALLING for the banning of fracking in Ireland has passed its first stage in Dáil Éireann.

The Bill, a private members’ motion brought by Fine Gael Sligo TD Tony McLoughlin, received cross party support in the Dáil chamber.

A relatively new industry, hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the process of blasting deep through shale rock to access gas and fuel deposits contained therein.

The process is currently under moratorium in Ireland pending the publication of a report on it from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

That report is due in six months time. The Bill was previously expected to be delayed until that time.

There are no outstanding applications for a licence to frack in Ireland.

This evening in the Dáil, environment minister Denis Naughten, a native of Roscommon which forms part of the shale-rich area in Ireland’s north-west, welcomed the bill as “another step in protecting our environment and future”.

“To be quite clear, there is no great strategic imperative or agenda by Government to pursue the use of fracking,” the Minister said.

The primary aim, as legislators, is to ensure that we give proper consideration to the issues and evidence, avoid unintended consequences, and provide legal clarity.

The Bill will now move forward to the committee debate stage.

Read: Corbyn’s Labour are dead against it, but what’s the up-to-date situation with fracking in Ireland?

Read: Poll: Should fracking be banned in Ireland?

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