Protest at Dublin HQ over Woodburn Forest

An aerial view of the Woodburn Forest site.  INCT 19-721-CON
An aerial view of the Woodburn Forest site. INCT 19-721-CON

Green activists are to protest at Sinn Féin’s Dublin headquarters tomorrow in relation to the Woodburn Forest drill in Carrickfergus.

Representatives from Young Friends of the Earth will take part in a demonstration urging the party to take a public stand against the project.

Mícheál Callaghan of Young Friends of the Earth Ireland said: “Despite grassroots level Sinn Féin party members and local councillors being opposed to the drill at Woodburn, the response from senior members of the party has been limited despite the vocal - and laudable - opposition of the party to extractive industries.

“We demand that a decisive position now be taken by the party both in the north and the south in order to prevent further damage to the Woodburn site and to put an end to all potential fracking in Ireland in the future. Drilling has already begun and the clock is ticking.

“This is an all-island issue: if the drill reveals the presence of oil and gas and heavy development proceeds in the area, it is likely to set a dangerous precedent in the Republic as well.”

Protests at the Carrick site have intensified in recent weeks as a rig and other equipment were delivered.

InfraStrata, the company behind the scheme, confirmed that drilling had commenced this week.

Stop the Drill campaigners fear the operation will pose a risk to the drinking water supplies in the area, despite assurances from InfraStrata that the site will be “zero discharge”.