Donegal campaigners have issued a direct challenged to Government Minister Pat Rabbitte over the value of wind farms in the county.
Ernan O’Donnell is chair of the Glenties Windfarm Information Group (GWIG) and has challenged the Government over claims that widespread turbines would financial benefits or jobs to the county.
Mr O’Donnell said he wanted to challenge “the repeated assertions of Mr. Pat Rabbitte that wind farming will create jobs.”
He went on: “The jobs Mr. Rabbitte promises will not benefit the areas where the wind farms are located.
“In wind farm locations there will be no jobs, where jobs might have been created in other industries – tourism, building etc.
“So jobs is good news for the banks, insurance companies and investment firms – all of which could be located abroad – as well as in the engineering and industrial design offices in Germany, China and Denmark, where the turbines are manufactured.”
And he insisted the turbines and wind farms have the potential devastate job creation in the areas – like Glenties – where they are created.
“Wind farms will create a no-investment zone where they are located,” said Mr O’Donnell.
“Existing jobs in tourism and its spin-offs, will be adversely affected. Communities will be destroyed, riven and sundered by ill feeling – mainly brought about by the secrecy/furtiveness of confidentiality clauses – the modest income coming into the community through wind farms is compromised because of the land owners profiting at their neighbour’s expense, which has a long lasting, detrimental effect on community relations.
“Because land owners are prevented from speaking, by confidentiality clauses in their contracts, the hurt felt by neighbours cannot be addressed, which would be the first step towards healing. Rural communities, rural retreats, carbon credits, wildlife sanctuaries, etc, etc. will all be sacrificed to create jobs elsewhere.
“In the construction phase to date, local employment has consisted of lorry loads of stone for roads. ‘Outside’ contractors lay the roads, hardstand bases, turbine bases and erect the turbines.
“As with the ‘present austerity measures’ …..fewer and fewer will get richer and richer, while more and more will get poorer and poorer.
“Maybe further evaluation would, in the long term, be beneficial,” he added.
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