MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Dalradian Gold withdraws sponsorship of Irish awards

Published by MAC on 2019-11-24
Source: The Irish News

Mining companies will often try to "green" their credentials by offering support to local communuities' other endeavours

It's something that Rio Tinto introduced in the 1980's and has been replicated since by other companies.

But, when Canadian company Dalradian Gold encountered resistance from villagers in  northern Ireland, to a new mine proposal - by way of its co-sponsorship of "Business Excellence Awards" - this was  clearly a step too far.

[For earlier post, see Protests against gold mine proposal ]

Dalradian Gold withdraws sponsorship from Co Tyrone business awards

Connla Young

The Irish News

21 November 2019

A gold mining firm has confirmed it withdrew sponsorship from a business
awards event in Co Tyrone.

Dalradian Gold was not involved in the Mid Ulster Business Excellence
Awards held in Clogher last night.

The firm did not give a reason for its decision but it comes after Mid
Ulster District Council wrote to organisers to “highlight the widespread
concern and community opposition to gold mining in the Sperrins and asked
that reflection should be placed on this when accepting sponsorship of
awards categories and sponsorship generally for the Business Awards”.

A council spokeswoman said it was also agreed to write to all sponsors
involved in the event “making them aware of the community and council
opposition to Dalradian”.

Canadian-owned Dalradian Gold wants to develop a mine at Greencastle, near
Omagh, which some local people are opposed to.

Campaigners had indicated their intention to protest at the awards event.

Sinn Féin councillor Ronan McGinley, who proposed that the letter be sent,
tweeted: “Delighted to say that Dalradian is no longer a sponsor."

Independent councillor Dan Kerr also claimed that “Dalradian are trying to
normalise themselves to the community in Greencastle and surrounding
areas".

A spokesman for Dalradian said: “As a local employer since 2009, we had
hoped to support the wider business community through the awards,
particularly as 13 per cent of all jobs in the Mid Ulster Council area are
related to the extraction and processing of natural resources. Our focus,
however, is on ensuring that the awards celebrate the best of local
business.”

Meanwhile, anti-gold mine campaigners have said they will lodge a formal
complaint after claiming they were refused entry to a public council
meeting.

Campaigners claim they were initially allowed into the Fermanagh and Omagh
District Council meeting at the Townhall in Enniskillen earlier this month
but later refused re-entry after temporarily leaving the chamber.

A video of the incident has been posted on social media.

Campaigner Martin Tracey said: All communities have the right to hear how
they are being represented. There will be a formal complaint lodged.”

Independent councillor Emmet McAleer said: “From my perspective it's a
worrying development - these meetings are supposed to be for the public
and open to the public and they are denied access to them.”

A spokesman for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said: “The
anti-goldmine protesters were not refused re-entry to the council meeting
on November 5 2019 in the Townhall Enniskillen.

“Those in attendance had an opportunity to attend the meeting in
accordance with the council's 'Conduct and Behaviour of Visitors to
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council's Civic Buildings Protocol'.”

 

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