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AN ONLINE public meeting is to be held to inform local communities on the potential impact of prospective licences to Tulla and Bunratty.

Meath based, Minco Ltd currently have an application before the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications for a prospecting licence for the baronies of Bunratty and Tulla. The prospecting licence allows for the exploration of mineral deposits, but does not authorise actual mining of any minerals.

Clare County Council on Monday last passed an emergency motion asking the Environment Minister, Eamon Ryan (GP) not to proceed with the awarding of the licence. Groups such as Keep Tulla Untouched and Futureproof Clare have been vocal in their calls for the plans to be scrapped.

Minister Ryan has sanctioned a two-week extension to allow for submissions from the public with a new deadline of January 23rd set. Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) who proposed the emergency motion alongside Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) felt a two-month extension would have been a better approach.

Keep Tulla Untouched will hold a meeting to better inform the public at 7:30pm on Wednesday (January 19th). Details on the meeting can be obtained via their Facebook page.

Hannan Metals in their prospecting in Kilbreckan near the M18 found at least seven more target areas for mining zinc and silver in the locality.

Christine O’Brien of Keep Tulla Untouched stated that anger is growing locally at the possibility that the licence would be granted without the County Council or communities being fully briefed.

She stated, “I have farmed in Tulla and Crusheen since 2006, and my husband has farmed his whole life in the parish of Tulla. We have lands derogated as both SPA and NHA, specifically Oysterman’s Marsh. This land has been under very restricted farming practises since the original NPWS Hen Harrier Program 2007. It is necessary for me to request written permission for any work considered outside ‘permissible action’ which includes, for example, removal of surface stone – with minimal to no soil disturbance, or flattening and flailing scrub. It is completely ridiculous to imagine that another individual or company would be permitted to drill for prospecting, let alone consider mining this same land area”.

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