Fracking: your decision?

A survey is being carried out about people’s understanding of their ability to influence decision-making about fracking in Ireland. The survey forms part of research for a Masters degree in Energy Management at IT Sligo and consists of ten short questions. Please take the survey here and spread the word to others.

Image from Marcellus Protest, under Creative Commons licence.


Public consultation on fracking research – your chance to speak

The Environmental Protection Agency in the Republic of Ireland has produced a terms of reference document setting out their proposals for a programme of research into “unconventional gas exploration and extraction”.  The steering committee for this research includes the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and it will be of great importance on both sides of the border.  To read the terms of reference please click here and to make your own submissions about it, please email before the deadline of March 8th.


If you are concerned about this issue, as an individual or on behalf of a community group or other organisation, please use this opportunity to make your voice heard. You may wish to write a detailed response or simply to refer to question one on page two; ‘Can this technology be used whilst also fully protecting the environment and human health?’
For more details please read the EPA’s press release below.

Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland.

‘Frackademia’: how Big Gas bought research on hydraulic fracturing

A disturbing report about the links between the gas industry and academic institutions, showing how difficult it is to obtain research that is not affected by the industry’s own priorities and interests.

‘Frackademia’: how Big Gas bought research on hydraulic fracturing | Richard Schiffman | Comment is free |

Photograph courtesy of Ari Moore on Flickr

Merry Christmas

Very best wishes to all, in Fermanagh and beyond, from the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network, for a joyful Christmas and a New Year of peace, prosperity and hope. Special thanks to all those friends who have supported our work in 2012 and helped us to raise awareness of what shale gas extraction and frackiing could mean for our beautiful county.  Please keep on spreading the word to your friends, your family, your neighbours, community leaders and political representatives.

And over the Christmas break, if you can’t face The Great Escape yet again, why not watch the debate on fracking that was held in Stormont in September?  We’ve uploaded most of it to YouTube (watch it in the windows below) and the rest will follow in the New Year.

And finally, here’s an extra viewing of the vitally important part of the debate which shows that fracking in Fermanagh is especially unsafe and should not be permitted. Experts have stated that the separation between a fracking zone and an aquifer should be at least 600 metres. But here, we understand that the proposed distance from the fracking zone to the regionally important aquifer upon which many people’s drinking water depends, is only 500 metres. We think this is an important issue which the people in Fermanagh deserve to know about. If you agree, please share it with others.

Have a merry Christmas and a peaceful and happy New Year.


Fracking Up – now in paperback

Fracking Up, the new novel by’s editor Tanya Jones, is now available in paperback from Amazon.  It tells the story of a fictional European island faced with shale gas extraction and of what happens when the book’s heroine,  Jenny, and her friends start campaigning on the issue.  It’s not a heavy book, in any sense; it was described on Amazon as “An enjoyable romance with a serious centre and lots of humour along the way” but we hope that it will help a wider audience to appreciate the likely effects of fracking in populated areas and beautiful landscapes.  Tanya is happy to talk about the novel to book groups or at other events – contact her at

Fracking could foil carbon capture plans

We’ve heard a lot lately about the possibilites of carbon capture, technologies which, many hope, could be used to remove carbon dioxide generated at power plants and store it underground.  But as an article in the prestigious New Scientist journal notes,  those plans depend upon the underground storage aquifers being protected by impermeable layers of rock above them.  Fracking creates innumerable cracks and fissures in these layers, making secure storage difficult and, across widespread fracked areas, impossible.  Read more in the article below.

Fracking could foil carbon capture plans – environment – 28 March 2012 – New Scientist.

Will Fracking Impact My Family?

In this excellent article, farmer, writer and mother Laura Grace Weldon looks at the issue of fracking and how it is likely to affect families, businesses and the natural world in her neighbourhood of rural Ohio.  Obviously some of the issues she discussed are particular to the United States, but most are universal and particularly important in any farming region.  It’s a well-written, thoughtful and balanced piece, with plenty of pictures and links to further sources of information. Click on the link below to read it now.

Will Fracking Impact My Family? | GeekMom |

(The photo above left shows the Weldon family, from Laura Weldon’s blog Bit of Earth Farm)

FFAN and the committee…

Our documents page (items 17 – 19) now contains the full Hansard transcripts of the two recent meetings of the DETI committee considering the issues of shale gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing.  Evidence was given at these hearings by the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network, the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland and Tamboran Resources.