What can I do?

1. Talk and write to your elected representatives, especially local councillors and MLAs.   Let them know that you care about this issue and that you expect them to do the same. As a starting point, we’ve produced a sample letter, available here as a Word document or pdf file. You can either use it as it is, just filling in your details and those of the person you’re sending it to, or  adapt it adding your own comments and questions.

If you don’t want to send a detailed letter then keep it simple.  Politicians are your representatives and they need your votes to stay in office.  The most important politician in the shale gas process is the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Mrs Arlene Foster, who is also an MLA for the Fermanagh and South Tyrone constituency.  If you are concerned about fracking, then Mrs Foster needs to know this.  Contact her (politely and courteously, please) here.

The current We Deserve Better! campaign, which is active both in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, highlights the differences between the ways in which the two governments are treating this issue and invites you to express your views to the First and Deputy First Ministers.  Read more about it here.

2. Find out more – from this website and its links or, even better, by coming along to one of the many public meetings and presentations about hydraulic fracturing and what it could mean for us.  Don’t worry, though – you don’t need to become an expert mining engineer or geologist before you can have an informed opinion!  The film, Fracking in Fermanagh: what could it mean?, available to view online here is a fantastic introduction to the issues.

3.  Tell others – most people in Fermanagh still don’t know what’s happening or what it might mean for their daily lives.  If you’re a member of a community group, church or political party, talk to others about how fracking will affect them.  Talk to your friends and family, especially the younger generation, who will have to live with the decisions which are taken now.

4. Get involved.  Join us here, if you live in Fermanagh and read here about how we need your help. There are lots of groups growing up in villages and towns across Fermanagh made up of people like you who want to know more and have a say in their own future.  Contact us to find out who’s getting together in your area or to get help in starting your own group.

5. Sign the NI online petition here or contact us for paper copies.

9 thoughts on “What can I do?”

  1. We are planning to attend the meeting in Ballyshannon to learn more about this very worrying proposal.
    Would it be possible to add an ’email to a friend’ box to your web-site – just to help spread the word a bit faster?

  2. Urgent Fracking Meeting to b e held at Cashel Cross Community Ctr. Tues. Nov. 8th at 8PM. presented by Dr. Aedin McLaughlin. Directions: Five miles from Garrison heading toward B elcoo or eight miles from village of Belcoo toward Garrison.

  3. Having attended an excellent presentation given by Dr. Aedin McLoughlin in the KIllyhelvin hotel on Tuesday 25th September I was very disappointed with the chairperson Bridie Sweeney’s refusal to allow Mr Phil Flanagan local councillor and MLA to speak from the floor.
    As a member of the audience I was delighted to see both Mr Phil Flanagan and Mr Brendan Gallagher at the meeting and was waiting like many others in the audience to hear what contribution they were going to make. But when Mr Flanagan tried to speak from the floor he was rudely interrupted by the chairperson Bridie Sweeney and not allowed to continue.I was totally disgusted that he was not permitted to finish speaking.We are constantly told to write to our MLA and local councillors about fracking and when they do attend a meeting this is how they are treated. I have come away from the meeting with a very negative view on this reaction by a person who is acting as the community coordinator for fracking awareness in the area.

  4. Dear Finola

    Thank you for taking the time to visit our website and leave a comment. Thanks also for attending the public meeting in the Killyhevlin, we are glad to hear that you enjoyed Dr McLoughlin’s presentation. We also welcome constructive criticism and note your comments on FFAN’s chairing of the event.

    I should point out that the guidelines for the Q&A session were clearly set out by the chairperson who noted that only questions would be taken and that if people had not begun asking a question within 10seconds of having the floor that the chairperson would move on. She requested that people respect these boundaries and not put her in the position of having to stop a speaker. I would also note that the chairperson had earlier in the evening asked another gentleman to focus himself on a question not a comment and as chairperson it is important that consistency of approach is applied.

    Having said all that, the chairperson for the event, Bridie Sweeney, would be the first to admit she had made a mistake and Bridie informed us at our recent FFAN committee meeting that she e-mailed Phil Flanagan MLA immediately next morning offering her apologies for the abruptness with which she handled the situation. At that point she had not received a response to the e-mail but I have no doubt that Mr Flanagan will be gracious in accepting her apology.

    To set this in context I would note that these ‘rules of engagement’ for the Q&A session had been agreed by FFAN because at previous meetings we found ourselves in a situation where people engaged in lengthy preambles to their questions leaving others frustrated and angry because they had not had a chance to ask their questions.

    As a member of the Cashel Fracking Awareness Group you will know that as Community Engagement Co-ordinator Bridie Sweeney, with the support of the FFAN committee and others, has worked very hard both in organising public meetings and talks and in supporting the development of local groups. We in FFAN feel that the meeting in the Killyhevlin was over all an extremely successful and positive event which has played its part in helping to move the discussion of fracking forward locally. But it is still early days and there remains much to do and it is important that we keep focused on our goal and continue to move forward. And or course as you know our next event is the Theatre production in Cashel next weekend.

    I would just like to finish this reply by stating clearly that FFAN very much appreciates the support that Phil Flanagan MLA and other local politicians have given us and would in no way wish to cause deliberate offence to them or any other member of the public regardless of their stance on fracking.

    Yours, Tom McCaffrey
    Acting Secretary FFAN

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Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network (FFAN)