independent

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Fracking protester steps up campaign

MANORHAMILTON TO DUBLIN WALK

HARRY KEANEY

Published 06/11/2012|17:57

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Representatives of the Love Leitrim group with Deputy Michael Colreavy (third from right) turned out to wish Cecily Gilligan (second left) the best of luck as she embarks on her anti-fracking walk from Manorhamilton to Dublin.

SHE IS making her point – one step at a time.

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Today, Tuesday, anti-fracking activist Cecily Gilligan will end up at no less a place than Leinster House in Dublin.

She even hopes to come face-toface with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and some of his ministers.

A parttime primary school teacher, Cecily is using her midterm break to raise awareness about fracking – by walking the 215 kilometres from Manorhamilton to Dublin.

The Collooney native now living in Killery, near Ballintogher, has been covering about 15 miles a day for nine days.

Fracking, properly known as hydraulic fracturing, is used to extract shale gas from deep beneath the surface.

But many people have serious concerns about its environmental impact.

Cecily, a member of the Love Leitrim group, is carrying a petition calling for a ban on the controversial mining method.

And for those who are interested in learning more, she has information leaflets.

Supporters have been accompanying Cecily on parts of the way, while others have provided her with hospitality, food and accommodation.

Cecily is no stranger to walking, having done the 500km on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

She has also walked the lengths of the Royal and Grand canals in Ireland as well as having walked for two weeks across England.

On her "anti-fracking" walk to Dublin, she has gone through many of the quaint towns and villages now bypassed by new roads.

She said: "My point is to go along and talk to people, to raise awareness.

"Ultimately, I am going to call on the government to implement an immediate and permanent ban on fracking and I will give it to Enda Kenny."

She also hopes to speak to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pat Rabbitte and Minister of State Fergus O'Dowd.

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