Fracking will now be banned in Ireland thanks to the first Private Members Bill to be passed through the Houses of the Oireachtas by a Government TD.
Ireland will now join three other EU member states –France, Germany and Bulgaria –in banning the practice on land.
The Bill, put forward by Fine Gael TD Tony McLouglin, will now be signed into law by the President in the coming days.
The Sligo-Leitrim Deputy and assistant Fine Gael whip said: “I am delighted that my Bill will now be made law and will protect hundreds of thousands of people from the harmful and damaging effects of hydraulic fracking.
“This is a special moment for me and the people I was elected to represent.
“Since I introduced my Bill to this House on 8th June 2016 at the First Stage, it has progressed at a rapid pace. This is a very necessary law that has been heavily scrutinised and continually improved throughout its passage through the Houses of the Oireachtas.
“The progress of this Bill this year shows the concept of ‘new politics’can work very well when all sides of the house engage pro-actively together.
“This law will mean communities in the West and North West of Ireland will be safeguarded from the negative effects of hydraulic fracking. Counties such as Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Clare will no longer face negative effects like those seen in cities and towns in the United States, where many areas have now decided to implement similar bans to the one before us.
“If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland it would pose significant threats to the air, water and the health and safety of individuals and communities here.
“Fracking must be seen as a serious public health and environmental concern for Ireland,” Deputy McLoughlin said.