Below is the statement read out at the Ireland: Open for business day at PDAC in Toronto on 05/03/2018. Sinéad Ní Mhearnóg, a representative of the anti-gold mining groups in the Sperrins read out this statement to make sure that those present don’t forget that these areas being targeted for gold mining are areas where people live, go to school, work, farm and raise families and these communities do not want this toxic gold mining business in their areas.
Unfortunately this representative was not let speak freely, the chairperson talked over her, turned off the mic and some people started to walk out, however, many others did not and Sinéad continued to read out this important statement. When finished many people came to congratulate these activists for standing up for their community in this way in a room that certainly wasn’t welcoming to it, this included geologists, business owners and even the chair himself who said he wasn’t sure if he had done the right thing in trying to silence our protest. Fine GaelMinister Sean Kyne spent time talking to Sinéad and Emmet to find out the other side to this dirty business they call gold mining.
It takes a lot to get up and do this in front of such a hostile crowd, but we know from the feedback that this created a much needed talking point for those present and has opened their eyes to the anger on the ground which jeopordises Dalradian’s plans. The following day another protest was held at an investor talk after Dalradian’s presentation and again people came up afterwards interested in finding out more and many realising that Dalradian are pretending that the situation on the ground is rosy when in fact it couldn’t be further from the truth.. Videos for both protests can be found at the bottom of this link.
‘Statement – To be read out at PDAC 2018 Toronto – 05/03/2018
This is a statement on behalf of the opposition groups in the Sperrins against Dalradian’s plans to mine at Curraghinalt and also on behalf of opposition groups in Armagh, Monaghan and Cavan agaisnt Conroy Gold’s plans across those counties.
We are here to tell those present and the wider mining community that Ireland is certainly not open for the type of toxic gold mining business that Dalradian and Conroy have plans for. While they may stand here today and say that everything is going swimmingly we are here to tell you that there is another side to this story.
There is a growing anti goldmining community in Ireland and while Dalradian for example would have you believe that the Curraginalt area only has sheep farmers and bog and are crying out for jobs we can tell you the real story that we are sheep farmers but we are also solicitors, teachers, doctors, engineers and more, we are well educated, we are tech savvy and we have an army of people ready to take you on and stop your plans. Do not underestimate us and prospective investors, do not believe everything you are being told by these companies.
A representative from Conroy Gold told us yesterday that there is interest in developing mining in Wicklow and Wexford but that the visual impact and tourism impact will probably mean they won’t come to fruition – thank god! Well here’s a little info on Dalradian’s plans in their own words:
‘It is situated within the Sperrin Mountain Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The site is located between the Owenkillew and Owenreagh rivers which are within the River Foyle and Tributaries Special Area of Conservation which supports significant presence of Atlantic salmon and otter. The Owenkillew River is also a Special Area of Conservation and it features the largest population of freshwater pearl mussels in NI. Much of the higher ground is covered with blanket bog and wet heath habitats that are recognised as priority habitats in NI and also under EU Directives.’
Does this sound like somewhere to be developing a gold mine and processing plant, does it seem like it will be supported in an area of such importance? I think not.
As representatives of the local communities directly affected by their plans we want to register our anger and disappointment that this presentation entitled ‘Ireland: Open for business’ has not encouraged any engagement from us – the people affected. It seems as is always the case that big money talks and those living and paying taxes in Ireland and the 6 counties are not being listened to. But be prepared because our fight is only beginning, the gold mining industry may have walked over communities in other countries and areas but you will not do it to us.
A Aire impíonn ort an teachtaireacht a thógáil ar ais chuig Fine Gael agus an Dáil, ní chuireann na pobail seo fáilte roimh forbairt den chineál seo. Déanfar damáiste nach féidir a athrú choíche agus iarraimid oraibh teacht amach agus labhairt le na daoine ar an talamh, tá guthanna s’againn chomh tábhachtach céanna le guthanna na boic mhóra seo.
For those present, to find out more on the real story of these companies plans contact the fb page ‘Save our sperrins’ or ask us at the end.
Go raibh maith agaibh’
Protest Day 2: Ireland -Open for business