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Flanagan predicts Bord na Mona wind farms from Mountmellick to Geashill and Abbeyleix to Mountrath

Fine Gael Dáil deputy Charlie Flanagan predicted at a meeting in Luggacurren last Thursday night that Bord na Mona could erect wind farms in the Mountmellick, Abbeyleix and Mountrath areas.

He was speaking at a sometimes-heated meeting on the proposed development of massive wind farms across Laois. He told the packed meeting: “I had a number of meetings with Bord na Mona. I see them as having a driving roll in wind farms in the midlands. I predict wind farms in north Laois from Mountmellick to Geashill and from Abbeyleix to Mountrath.”

At the same meeting, Darragh Conroy from Clonaslee said that his neighbour had found out that “a planning application had just been submitted to erect five wind turbines just 500 metres from his back door.”

Yesterday (Monday), Coillte announced that it intends submitting its planning applications by mid-summer to erect 18 turbines on their lands at Cullenagh, Clontycoe and Dooary.

Also yesterday, the newly-formed People over Wind (POW) claimed that, within the next six weeks, Gaelectric will also lodge a planning application for a wind farm in Spink.

Last Thursday’s meeting was the third such public meeting, which has attracted hundreds of people to each one, expressing fears around wind farm constructions in the area. Another public meeting was planned for last night (Monday), too late for the ***Laois Nationalist*** to report on before going to press.

These proposed planning applications come on top of plans by two wind farm companies, Main Stream and Element Power, to build 2,300 wind turbines across the midlands to supply electricity to Britain.

People have expressed bitter anger over the two companies’ failure, despite being invited to each meeting, to attend and inform the public what plans they have for their areas.

Coillte announced that it will hold two ‘‘information days’’ in respect to their proposals. The first of these is on Wednesday 12 June from 2pm until 7.30pm at Timahoe Community Centre and the following day from 2pm until 7.30pm at Ballyroan Community Centre.

In a statement issued last week, Element Power said that it intended holding a series of “public information sessions” in Laois in July, as well as “a formal community engagement process” ahead of the company submission of its planning applications.