DEAR SIR: ‘Ireland’s 2013 food and drink exports are just shy off a record €10 billion’ – Farmers Journal, 9 January, 2014. Among tales of storm damage this is indeed a welcome reprieve. As we well know, the green image enjoyed by the Irish agribusiness sector enables our small country to punch well above its weight internationally. But we must not rest on our laurels.

This pristine image is under threat. The government has granted licensing options to English and Australian companies Enegi and Tamboran Oil, in counties Clare and Leitrim. This allows them to assess the potential for fracking with a view of obtaining a drilling licence.