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Anti-frackers condemn petrol bomb attack on worker's Fermanagh home

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Peaceful fracking protesters at Belcoo quarry last week

Peaceful fracking protesters at Belcoo quarry last week

Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

Peaceful fracking protesters at Belcoo quarry last week

A petrol bomb attack on the home of a fracking company employee in Fermanagh has been condemned by those protesting against the controversial gas extraction method.

Tamboran Resources, the firm drilling at a quarry near Belcoo, has hit out at those responsible for the "orchestrated and abhorrent attack" on a worker's home.

Tamboran has recently been the focus of a round-the-clock protest at the entrance to the quarry in a sign of opposition to its work.

At around 3.25am on Sunday a car drove past and two petrol bombs were thrown at the worker's house at Station Road, Letterbreen. Police want to speak to the driver of a dark Audi estate that was seen in the area at the time.

A Tamboran spokeswoman said: "The company is operating within the terms of the licence it was awarded by the NI Executive to explore for natural gas in Northern Ireland. To date we have invested several millions pounds in the economy creating and supporting local jobs and using local contractors. Tamboran has received several hundred emails and requests from local people about employment opportunities.

"We know this behaviour is not reflective of the local people.

"Tamboran fully respects the right to peaceful protest. We welcome calls from those who have called for any protests to be peaceful. However, we cannot ignore such attacks. We call on all local political, community and anti-fracking representatives to unequivocally condemn this petrol bombing attack and to encourage people to share any information they have with the PSNI."

Anti-fracking groups criticised the attack.

Donal O'Cofaigh, spokesman for the Belcoo Frack Free lobby group, said: "This attack is wrong and we condemn it. Such actions only undermine our goal of putting a halt to shale gas exploration. We ask those responsible to desist immediately. This action is not in our name."

Fermanagh Fracking Awareness Network said: "FFAN would like to state we do not advocate or tolerate any form of violence and condemn it in the strongest way possible. We would urge anyone thinking of violence or other unlawful activity to think again."

Background

Fracking is the process of drilling for shale gas. Boreholes are drilled and a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Environmentalists say fracking can cause water contamination and earth tremors. So far, fracking has not taken place in Fermanagh. Tamboran says it is drilling a scientific borehole to collect rock samples. "This is a straightforward drilling operation, it is not fracking," it said.

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