Northern Ireland news

Woodburn: Stop the Drill activist climbs onto oil drill in Carrickfergus

Amanda Ferguson
10 May, 2016 01:00

A PROTESTER was arrested on Monday after he climbed on an oil drill destined for a Co Antrim forest and threatened to chain himself to it.

Stop the Drill campaigners claim exploratory work by Infrastrata at Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus could impact on water supplies.

Northern Ireland Water, which has leased the site, has insisted said there is no danger.

Paisley Road was closed between New Line and Red Brae Road when Mark Chapman climbed on one of the drills, claiming he was "upholding environmental law".

He was arrested on suspicion of 'obstructive sitting' and was released on police bail.

Protests are ongoing against Infrastrata's work less than 400 metres from Woodburn Reservoir, which supplies water to the town and to Larne, Newtownabbey and areas in Belfast.

Campaigners have vowed to block any attempts by the oil consortium to carry out exploratory drilling.

Fiona Joyce from the Stop the Drill campaign said work should stop until a legal challenge is heard.

"We are in middle of a legal process where a resident sought leave for a judicial review which has been granted," she said.

"Mark is on the drill because it's not in the spirit of the judicial review."

Infrastrata has rejected suggestions its practices are unsafe.

10 May, 2016 01:00 Northern Ireland news