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Fracking claims a game of smoke and mirrors

This week saw the Government giving assurances that hydraulic fracturing ('fracking') is sufficiently unlikely to result in large earthquakes.

Okay, we might not notice the 'minor, man-made quakes', but we will surely suffer other side-effects.

One of the biggest problems with fracking is that the companies which have carried out this process in the USA have not been required to disclose which chemicals they have been using.

There are well-documented cases in America of both humans and animals suffering the effects of water contamination through polluted waste water from nearby fracking sites.

We have been here before: simply ignoring the facts doesn't make the problem disappear.

In the 1950s, tobacco firms rejected any link to cancer by smoking. Today, it's different firms from a different industry rejecting any link to cancer and other diseases occurring through exposure to chemicals. Same argument; different smoke and mirrors.

Australia-based Tamboran, the firm spearheading Fermanagh fracking, says it will not need to use chemicals. However, common sense dictates that, as a small firm of just 20 employees, Tamboran will either have to sell its licence, subcontract the work, or bring in a large oil/gas partner.

Tamboran say this will create 600 jobs in the local community, but questions must be asked as to whom will these jobs be going.

Six years' experience is needed to drill and it is clear that there are not many individuals with such experience in Fermanagh.

SINEAD O'HARA

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