Media has a part to play in forest oil drilling issue
Why did the drilling operation at Woodburn Forest in Carrickfegus not make media headlines until local protesters attempted to block access to the site, resulting in minor confrontations?
The water supply for large parts of Belfast and beyond are being placed at serious risk of contamination by this operation, which is taking place only a few hundred metres from the North Woodburn reservoir, which supplies drinking water to large parts of the city.
Why is this issue not front page news and the subject of investigative documentaries?
The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment has granted a gas and petroleum exploration licence to drill at a site 350m from the North Woodburn reservoir. The licence has recently been extended - seemingly without public consultation and there is no evidence of an environmental assessment.
The drilling process will involve injecting a cocktail of chemicals into the ground. It is beyond belief that the land on which the drilling is planned to take place has been leased to the company by Northern Ireland Water.
Everyone has a part to play in highlighting this issue. The local campaigners have stepped up to the plate - it is surely time that the mainstream media joined them.