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Gas fracking should not be allowed anywhere, says top environmentalist

20 Aug 2012

The Irish Times

FRANK McDONALD, Environment Editor

THE GOVERNMENT would "become the shoeshine boy of the [shale gas] industry" if it allowed fracking to take place anywhere in Ireland, according to the Nigerian human rights activist who heads Friends of the Earth International.

Nnimmo Bassey said Ministers "should not be allowed to sacrifice the environment on the altar of corporate greed" - as they had done for decades in his own country, where "the entire nation was Shell's concession".

Over the weekend, Mr Bassey addressed public meetings in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim, where he spoke of the dangers of fracking in the Lough Allen Basin, and Glenamoy, Co Mayo, where Shell's Corrib Gas project has long been the focus of bitter opposition.

"This struggle over the gas pipeline has been going on for a decade and the harassment of local activists is globally known," he told The Irish Times. "I'm focusing on what communities are struggling on and standing with people confronting impunity."

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