A SECOND group opposing fracking in Fermanagh has been established.
The new group comprises a number of people who were in the Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network (FFAN) but have now left this group.
One of the organisers of the new group working under the title of ‘Ban Fracking Fermanagh’ is Frank Duffy.
“I am totally opposed to fracking and I was involved in FFAN as deputy chair. But after the recent meeting FFAN held I was totally disgusted with how the meeting went and felt I could no longer be part of that group,” said Mr Duffy.
Speaking after the recent FFAN meeting in the Killyhevlin Mr Duffy said he was ‘totally disillusioned’ with the way the meeting went, saying he felt the guest speaker, Dr Eilish Cleary wasn’t for or against fracking but was just ‘sitting on the fence’.
Mr Duffy said that the meeting didn’t say it wanted to ban fracking, and he also said he thought some people in FFAN were only there to increase their own profile.
“I was on that committee, but it seems that over time that FFAN’s opposition to fracking has totally diluted.”
“Myself and a few other trade unionists have decided to set up an alternative group. Anyone who opposes fracking will be welcome to join, or to attend our meetings.”
The group held their first meeting last night, Tuesday, February 5, in Tippler’s Brook in Enniskillen and were hoping for a big crowd, and for a number of local politicians to attend.
Mr Duffy has been an active trade unionist for the past 26 years involved specifically in health and safety issues and he works at the South West Acute Hospital as head porter.
“Anyone who wants to attend, men, women or children are welcome to attend – as long as they’re opposed to fracking.
“There will be no political point scoring allowed at this meeting,” insisted Mr Duffy who described last night’s meeting as a ‘brainstorming session’ planned to think about ways of keeping fracking out of Fermanagh.
“This is our first formal meeting when we will discuss how to stop fracking coming into Fermanagh,” Mr Duffy said in advance of last night’s meeting.
Asked for her reaction to the establishment of a second group Isabelle Leonard, from FFAN, said there are different ways of dealing with this issue, but she has no objection to the new group. And she said all FFAN is concerned about is fighting fracking from coming to the county.
“We don’t want fracking in Fermanagh. Some people feel maybe they can’t work with our group – because we are not radical enough, or because different people have different ways of dealing with things.
“But I think we are all going in the right direction,” said Ms Leonard.
Following the Killyhevlin meeting Ms Leonard said their group will meet again soon to discuss what lessons can be learned from that meeting.
“We are all voluntary and none of us are involved in politics. And we all must learn from our mistakes,” she added.