The decision by the Communications and Transport, Eamon Ryan to grant prospecting licences to mining company Flintridge Resources for 47 townlands in north Leitrim has been discussed in the Dáil.
The issue was raised with the Taoiseach by Sligo Leitrim TD Marian Harkin.
The Independent deputy says this move could well lead to gold mining taking place in the area despite local concern and opposition from landowners, business people and the local authority in Leitrim.
Deputy Harkin says called on the Taoiseach to ban gold mining outright in Ireland:
In response the Taoiseach outlined how Minister Ryan has to work with the legal framework concerning such matters.
Michael Martin committed to listening to local concerns and examining the situation in greater detail before making any further comment on the granting of the prospecting licence in north Leitrim.