Environmental groups have welcome the findings of an Oireachtas committee report that found fracking could not proceed here without having a harmful impact on the environment and human health.

The study by the Joint Committee on Communications, Climate Action and Environment concludes a lack of knowledge in relation to deep geological and hydro-geological conditions in areas targeted for fracking would make it irresponsible to let it take place.

The committee found it would be impossible to predict the effects on the Northwest Carboniferous Basin and the Clare Basin.

The group also expressed concern about a range of potential effects from fracking, including surface chemical spills and leaks, accidental spills of contaminated flowback water and groundwater contamination from the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing as well from the natural gas produced.

Fracking, which involves pumping fluids into shale at high pressure in order to crack it and release natural gas contained within it, is currently banned here.