Several objectors to the proposed wind farm at Straboy presented closing statements to the An Bord Pleanrua oral hearing on Thursday; citing concerns about the impact of the development on people’s health and on the environment.
Liam Miller, whose home is 700 metres from the nearest turbine in the proposed development, said in his closing statement that history has shown that health risks are not always immediately apparent.
“Historically we’ve had lead, asbestos, smoking, uranium, mercury; all of which over time have been shown with a buildup to show injuries and dangers to people’s health,” he said. “So that’s the one thing I would ask the inspector to keep in mind when he has to make this decision. Just because you can’t see what makes people sick doesn’t mean it’s not the wind farms that are making them ill.”
Mr. Miller, in his submission to the oral hearing earlier on Thursday, said, “You’re taking one of the places left in the country where there is peace and tranquillity, panoramas and vistas, and you’re going to take that away forever, so I wouldn’t do that lightly, either.”
He also questioned why developers had not measured the noise levels on his lands, citing their proximity to the turbines.
Patricia Sharkey, in a closing statement for the Gweebara Conservation group, said, “In opposing this wind farm our opinion is this local Gaeltacht will be wiped out if it goes ahead,” adding that, “cultural heritage is under threat from industrialisation of this area”.
Ms. Sharkey delivered a lengthy statement to the hearing on Tuesday in which she said the conservation group in 2008 and 2009 also objected to the Eirgrid/ESB llOkv power line through Donegal, “because we knew then that this power line was not to improve the electricity infrastructure of the county; but was to facilitate the planned desecration of the county with industrial wind plants, and we were proved right in our assertion”.
“I was very moved by all the speeches of local people here over the last two weeks and happy the record will show future archivists the people of this area did not support this project and were vehemently opposed to it,” Ms. Sharkey said.
Joan Hanlon, who with her husband, Louis, made submissions to the hearing said in her closing statement that the couple were not assured their health concerns were being addressed.
“We heard a lot that actually makes us more worried,” she said. “The stress of this is just terrible on people.”
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