Updated: 30/06/17 : 06:31:27Printable Version
By Dervilla Keegan
Love Leitrim welcomed the passing of the legislative ban on fracking as
it completed the final stage in the Seanad on Wednesday June 28th and
will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
On welcoming the move Love Leitrim’s spokesperson Eddie Mitchell
acknowledged that the community campaign had won by informing themselves
about the issue, lobbying local and national representatives and by
promoting the positive aspects of Leitrim and Ireland.
He added “As a small community it was a fight for its life. We have a
right to live in a safe place. People didn’t have a choice but to get
involved, this is our home, where our families are from, where our
people are buried and these fields are the place where our children
Love Leitrim could see at an early stage that this was a national and international issue not a local one.
Mitchell added “seeing the plight of communities in Canada and Australia
acted as a warning for us, they showed us that you could stand up and
make a change and be successful like communities in New York. We
couldn’t afford to lose everything that was dear to us just like we saw
others losing what was important to them.
The Love Leitrim Group with Tony McLoughlin TD on the Dáil steps. Photo: Dervilla Keegan
Describing the thinking behind the successful strategy behind the Love
Leitrim campaign Mitchell said “We did it by engaging the community,
through participation and empowerment. We are proud of where we are
from. We are proud of Leitrim and Ireland. We wanted to reflect what
Leitrim was about, farmers, fishermen, artists, professionals, parents
and about sustainability. This is about Ireland. We knew we wouldn’t win
unless we brought everyone along. We understood that we had to convince
everyone. We knew that we had to be non-political. We had to win over
hearts and minds.”
“We by nature are close to the land and maybe we have become watchdogs
like our parents before us. We have a responsibility to the land and
each other and the life that the land nurtures. We feel privileged we
can make a difference in our own small way in dealing with bigger
challenges. We all have to be able to come together for the biggest
fight the planet now faces, climate change. We hope that our successful
campaign here will be a catalyst for other communities and show what can
be achieved," Mitchell concluded.