Need for robust regulations, inspection and enforcement before any further oil/gas exploration is permitted.

29 05 2014


 Speaking after attending a public meeting in the Dunluce Parish Centre, Bushmills organized by the Ballinlea Residents Group, SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham who is opposed to the Ballinlea No2 test well, has called for a robust regime of regulation, inspection and enforcement for the oil and gas industry before any permissions are considered to allow further exploration.

Guest speaker, Michael Hill B.Sc. C.Eng. MIET an independent chartered engineer highlighted to the meeting the deficiencies of the UK regulation system and the need for an independent on-site testing and verification regime.

Councillor Cunningham continued “Regulation, inspection and enforcement are required to protect well integrity, well leakages (vertical and horizontal) as well as leakages from flanges and flares.”

“The public have every right to be concerned that the existing regulation is inadequate. Given that Methane gas is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, and that Radon gas is the second highest cause of lung cancer, the local community needs the protection of robust and far reaching regulation.”

Earth Hour 2014

29 03 2014

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham is backing the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) campaign and its starry- themed ‘wish for a better future’ ahead of the global lights out event due to take place on Saturday 29th March at 8:30pm.

Cllr Cunningham said: “Our natural world is precious to all life that inhabits it, but we need to do more to protect it.  WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us that there are simple things we can all do for the planet – not just for one hour, but every day. It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet.”

Earth Hour sees millions of people around the world coming together to switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act of support to show they care about our planet. WWF already works to tackle a lot of environmental challenges – like deforestation, threats to endangered species, and the impacts of climate change – but Earth Hour is a chance for everyone to say they’ll do their bit.

Last year, Earth Hour brought together over 10 million people in 154 countries took part. Iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House all switched off and hundreds of local communities, schools and businesses took part.

Year after year, more people sign up and join the millions of people across the globe taking part in this celebration of our beautiful planet. By switching off your lights, you will be part of a movement of people that are pledging to live more sustainably and creating a brighter future.”

To find out more about WWF’s Earth Hour and register to take part visit<file:///C:\Users\sbrown\AppData\Local\users\krollings\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\Content.Outlook\HRSULW4C\\earthhour> and join millions of people who are signing up to the big switch off.

Attwood: EU climate and energy proposals less ambitious than they should be

22 01 2014

renewable-energy green

Attwood: EU climate and energy proposals less ambitious than they should be

Whatever the details of the EU climate and energy proposals today, Northern Ireland and Ireland must continue to roll out its green and renewable strategies according to West Belfast MLA and European candidate, Alex Attwood.

“Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland has some of the very best quality wind, wave and tidal in the world today. This is a catalyst to roll out renewables – both as economic drivers and as environmental remedies. Nothing has changed.

“Green energy is an essential feature of our economic future and opportunity – it remains so whatever about today’s proposals.

“The net effect on the EU proposals is that these are still ambitious but less ambitious than they could have been or the SDLP would argue for. A binding 40% emissions reduction from 1990 levels and 27% of energy from renewables (UK argued for 50%) is less in its scale than what the SDLP would propose given the character of climate change and the critical temperature increases that are now being recorded.

“The SDLP will continue to press that renewables, waste reduction, energy efficiency and a single minded carbon reduction approach are big ways for our economy to prosper and our wonderful environment in Northern Ireland to be enhanced.”

Ballycastle and Rathlin officially Ireland’s hottest spots

3 03 2013

Ireland Geothermal Map

Ballycastle and Rathlin officially Irelands hottest spots

During a visit to Rathlin with research geologists from the IRETHERM Project, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham was quick to point out that Ballycastle and Rathlin are now officially Ireland’s “hottest spots”.

Councillor Cunningham said that “If you look at the geothermal maps of where the suitable locations are in Ireland, Ballycastle and Rathlin really stand out. The area could well be at the forefront of the shift towards the revolutionary green technology of geothermal energy which takes heat from miles underground.”

“Experts think that, deep geothermal technology could meet much of our electricity needs. There’s absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t be aiming to tap into this potential energy source.”

Geothermal energy involves drilling down deep into the earth’s crust to tap into thermal energy stored there.

The Ballycastle Councillor said there would be three major benefits to making the most of this type of energy.

“The Economy – this is new technology that could create new jobs here in Ballycastle and Rathlin.

“Energy security – this energy is under our feet.

“The environment – geothermal energy is virtually carbon-free.”

Save the Arctic

31 08 2012

Recent evidence indicates that the Arctic is warming about twice as quickly as the northern hemisphere and there is concern that Arctic sea ice could disappear in this decade or the next.

“We should all be very worried about what is happening in the Arctic, yet the mainstream political scene seems to be unconcerned, even in denial of this looming crisis. At what point are we going to wake up and listen to the scientists who are telling us to act? 

“Instead, we see oil companies like Shell and Gazprom hell-bent on exploiting the situation, hoping to profit from the fast-melting ice.

Please support Greenpeace’s campaign to stop this happening

You can sign Greenpeace’s campaign by clicking on the link below