Regenerating the State: The Key to Ireland’s Response to Climate Change


The purpose of this paper is to discuss how the response to the prospect of fracking in the border counties of Leitrim and Fermanagh could inform the wider imperative to decarbonize at a national level in the face of potentially irreversible climate change.

I was invited by the Royal Irish Academy to speak on this issue, and the issue of sustainability, based on my long-term participation in the group Love Leitrim, one of a number of groups formed in 2011 to address the potential introduction of fracking into Ireland. This community response resulted, six years later, in the passing into law of one of the most progressive pieces of fossil fuel legislation heretofore, at the heart of which was a ban on fracking in Ireland. Recognised as an achievement of sustained community action in the potentially affected border region, the measure secured all-party agreement in its various Oireachtas legislative phases.



Johnny Gogan