Friends of the Earth Northern Ireland

Taking on the fossil fuel companies on her own doorstep at Woodburn Forest, Co Antrim

Aisling grew up in the countryside outside of Carrickfergus in a beautiful tree-covered valley. Her upbringing was filled with nature, being outdoors, helping in the garden, and looking after animals. Having a keen sense of social justice, as she went through her 20s she became more aware of environmental injustices in the world. She realised that social injustice in the world begins with environmental injustice. In Ireland, far from the ‘wild natural image’ that is projected, she sees nature being treated with total disregard. She believes it is our duty to fight the global fight here.


Aisling couldn’t believe it when a gas drilling company got permission to drill in a publicly owned forest in a water catchment area just a few miles from her house. Suddenly the precious place she grew up in was under threat and things that had seemed comfortably far away before where now on her doorstep. Her thought was, “if they can get permission to drill in this forest, then nowhere is safe, nowhere is precious.” She knew she had to take a stand along with others. The Protectors fought, they laughed, they cried, they made friends and they won in a few big ways, and in many little ways.

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