A distraught Co Roscommon couple had left their home in recent days, having found it no longer tolerable to live beside two wind turbines, John Kelly (Lab) said. They had no intention of returning to their property, owing to the ill-effects they had endured. “That is the sad reality of what wind turbines are doing.”
Mr Kelly said he had called last week for a debate on the whole area of wind energy and wind farm development. The “heavy hitters” in the Irish wind energy sector had subsequently claimed that living close to these turbines carried no ramifications. However, it was a fact that turbines had gone from 54m in height to 185m, and turbines of 350m were being developed at present. Pressing for a fast-track debate in relation to wind energy, Mr Kelly said that what they heard from the likes of Eddie O’Connor was “take the turbines and we’ll give you swimming pools”. People did not want swimming pools. All they wanted was to live in peace and tranquillity in their own homes.
There was a danger that Marian Price, who had been imprisoned in highly controversial circumstances in Northern Ireland, would decide to go down “ a road of protest which we do not want to have again”, Labhrás Ó Murchú (FF) warned. The Belfast Agreement was unique in the world in terms of conflict resolution, but the prisoner issue was something that still required attention. He had been part of a delegation that had visited prisoners, including Ms Price, last week. She was in a psychiatric facility and was a very frail woman. It was quite evident that she was a threat to no one.
It was very difficult to understand why the royal pardon she had been given had later been declared “lost” by the British administration, said Mr Ó Murchú. Something would have to be done about her predicament.
Her case was due for review shortly but it would be dealt with under a flawed process.
Seanad leader Maurice Cummins (FG) said he understood that this country might lose one European Parliament seat under arrangements for next year’s elections. This would require a review of constituencies.
He was responding to Ned O’Sullivan (FF), who said that the likely entitlement to extra seats for countries such as Croatia could have an impact on the configuration of constituencies here.
The Revenue Commissioners should explain why they had been unable to process rebates due to PAYE workers at a time when they were going to be expected to tell home owners how much property tax they would owe, Diarmuid Wilson (FF) said.