Northern Ireland news

Campaigner chains himself to drill rig at the site of a proposed gold mine in Co Tyrone

Anti-goldmine protester Cormac McAleer chained himself to one of the Dalradian drill rigs on Saturday. Picture by Jason McCartan

AN environmental campaigner has chained himself to a drill rig at the site of a proposed gold mine in Co Tyrone.

Cormac McAleer held the protest at the site at Camcosy Road, Rouskey on Saturday in opposition to plans for a gold mine by Canadian based firm Dalradian Gold.

He said he chained himself to the Dalradian drill rigs at around noon with his protest continuing to around 7pm.

Mr McAleer said he believed his "intervention" was needed in a bid to oppose plans for a goldmine and processing plant using cyanide in the area.

Read More: Fr Joe McVeigh left feeling threatened after goldmine Mass approach

Dalradian Gold wants to open a gold mine at Greencastle along with a plant which will use cyanide to remove the precious metal from locally mined ore.

Some people are opposed to the plan on environmental and other grounds.

Dalradian insist the process is safe.

Mr McAleer last night said: "My intervention was needed because of the further drilling at the exploratory mine site.

"It shouldn't be happening.

"If the authorities aren't going to do anything, then we have to. I attached myself to the drill rig with chains and a padlock so that it would cause a halt to the activity.

"I intend to continue the protest again, someone has to stand up to them."

Last week the Irish News reported that a Catholic priest who voiced concerns about the proposed gold mine said he had been left "trembling" after being approached during Mass by a man claiming to work for the firm behind the plan.

Fr Joseph McVeigh said he felt "threatened" during the encounter while he was saying Mass at St Michael's Church in Enniskillen on Wednesday.

He said the man, whom he knew, approached him while he was distributing Holy Communion and asked him if he could speak to him.

He said that after Mass the man followed him into the sacristy and claimed he worked for Dalradian.

A Dalradian spokesman said the man did not work for them.

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