LOCAL anti-fracking campaigners have hit out at a decision by The Sun newspaper to urge readers to sign a petition to ‘Get Fracking started’.
The appeal appeared in the paper on Wednesday past, saying: “David Cameron yesterday urged the UK to embrace fracking so we can get cheap shale gas and not be reliant for fuel on unpredictable and volatile states such as Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”
The piece went on: “And he [Cameron] called on the public to ignore scare stories about the perils of drilling for shale gas – insisting there was a ‘lack of understanding’ about how fracking works.”
But, Thomas McCaffrey, pictured, from Tamlaght, and living in Cashel, is chairman of Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network (FFAN), and said that The Sun, ‘would not need to be running such campaigns if the public had already decided that fracking was the way forward’.
“The fact that The Sun is taking an actively pro-fracking stance on behalf of business and government is actually heartening, because it shows that there is concern about the progress of groups like ourselves who are awareness raising and carrying out political lobbying.”
And, Enniskillen anti-fracking candidate in the upcoming local elections, Belcoo man Donal O’Cofaigh, described the article as ‘no surprise’.
“It comes as no surprise that The Sun – owned by a private company managed by billionaire tycoon Rupert Murdoch – has came out on the side of the fracking industry.
“Over decades, he has consistently used his media empire to stand firmly on the side of big business and the super-rich and there is a concerted effort by various of his papers and TV channels – including Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and now the Sun to run pro-fracking campaigns.”
He added: “In Fermanagh, the construction of 2,800 frack wells would devastate our countryside and threaten thousands of jobs in tourism and agriculture.”
“Big business, their political representatives and the corporate-owned press are all lining up behind fracking.
“They are only interested in profit, no matter the cost to people’s health, living standards and our environment.
“All the Stormont parties have failed to use their powers to remove this threat from Fermanagh.
“It’s now up to ordinary people to get organised and stop the frackers in their tracks.”
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