Outlined in black is the entire Northwest Carboniferous Basin that comes under the Republic's jurisdiction. The Department for CENR has already given licensing options for roughly a third of the area and is inviting further bids for the remainder. Marked in purple are Special Areas of Conservat

FOI shows fracking zone could treble

The area where hydraulic fracturing may be used for shale gas extraction could potentially almost treble in size, The Anglo-Celt can reveal. Official documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and seen by The Anglo-Celt show that the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (CENR) held back in awarding licensing options to two thirds of the area, known as the Northwest Carboniferous Basin, in a bid to attract interest from more shale gas companies. Full story in this week's Anglo-Celt.