Ballindaggin householder Philip Hickey has vowed to continue campaigning against the wind farm on his doorstep. The man from Ballylusk built the house he shares with wife Catherine six years ago.
But for the past two years their lives have been overtaken by the giant energy producing windmill which dominates the view from their back door. He was speaking as a family in County Cork prepare to go to court claiming that a neighbouring wind farm has affected their health as it creates a constant droning noise.
‘You don’t get used to it,’ said Philip of the turbine which is 368 metres away from the bungalow. ‘It just drives you insane. When you listen to something all the time, it drives you wrong.’
He acknowledged that action has been taken to reduce the flickering light effect created on winter mornings when the sun is low in the sky and shining through the giant rotating blades. But the constant low level noise is such that the Hickey’s garden has gone to rack and ruin because the couple do not want to go outside.
The official recommendation is that houses should be at least 500 metres from such towers and Philip Hickey feels that the planning process has let them down in allowing a breach of the guidelines in their case. He and his wife have vowed to fight the development.
Current Wexford County Council cathaoirleach Kathleen Codd Nolan has been to visit the house in Ballylusk, while Philip has debated the perils of wind power on television with former Labour leader Pat Rabbitte.
He has made presentations to politicians in Leinster House and has been interviewed recently by journalists from several national newspapers. The Hickeys have also compared their story with others who reside near wind farms.
‘We have been talking to people in 20 counties and they all having the same problems,’ Philip said. He indicated that he and his wife are not yet ready to take legal action but wished the Shivinen family in Banteer all the best in the courts. They will be following the court proceedings with interest.
‘If we have to go down the legal road, we will go legal,’ he declared.