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1st July 2019 | Biodiversity, Environment

Galway mining licence a cause for serious concern – Greens

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As the date for public submissions draws closer, Cllr. Pauline O’Reilly, the Green Party’s General Election candidate for Galway West urges the public to have their say.

“Connemara National Park is at risk due to a licence to prospect for gold, which could have serious health implications as well as impacting on the wildlife of the area.

“The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment intends to grant a licence to mine for base metals to a Canadian company, MOAG Copper Gold Resources over over the following Townlands in County Galway: Townlands in Ballinahinch Barony: Boolagare, Callow, Dolan, Doohulla, Emlaghmore, Errisbeg West, Murvey, Tullaghlumman Beg.

“The law around mining and drilling is a cause for concern. Chief among the worries is the fact that as with drilling at sea, there is no requirement by companies to lodge environmental impact assessments prior to mining. They can also mine on private land without consent. Mining companies have rated Ireland as the number one country in the world to mine, given the lax regulations.

“Given this laxity, there is a huge risk in terms of the health of our community and nature. Galway is an area with particularly high levels of radon which creates an increased risk of radioactive contaminants being released into the atmosphere and local water supplies. Additionally where low levels of gold are discovered mining companies often treat the area with cyanide to uncover trace amounts. With heavy rainfall, this can very easily be released into groundwater.

“People, farm animals, fish, and wildlife depend on clean freshwater and this is our chance to retain some semblance of control.

“These licenses cost little money and therefore there is little to be gained for the state, but there is no price that should convince us to go ahead with the granting of these private licences over public land and the private land of the people of Galway.

“We have the opportunity to protect Connemara by ensuring that we all send in our concerns by 6th July”.

Concerns can be submitted via email at EMD.info@DCCAE.gov.ie