“If we can be floored by just two wind turbines, 100m tall, 700m from our home what effect will 2,500 wind turbines, 185m tall have?”
That was the warning issued by the Roscommon couple Michael and Dorothy Keane at last Thursday evening’s windfarm information meeting in Rochfortbridge.
The Keanes claim that their mental and physical health have been adversely affected by the construction of two 100m wind turbines close to their Skrine home in 2011, so much so that they are now moving to Leitrim in September.
Dorothy says they realised that there would be a problem with the proximity of the turbines “as soon as they started to spin”.
“We noticed a change in the way we operated. We realised we had low motivation and low energy. We had low concentration levels and couldn’t function properly. We started getting feelings of anxiety for no good reason. We were both experiencing pressure in the ears and in the chest and feeling shaky some of the time. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. We couldn’t sleep at night and we couldn’t stay awake during the day.”
Michael says that their current mental and physical health problems – they are both on anti-depressants, anti-anxiety tablets and sleeping tablets – stem from sleep deprivation caused by noise coming from the wind turbines, especially the infra-sound pollution coming from the turbines. Described by Michael as a “killer”, infrasound is inaudible but is believed by some scientists to cause a range of health problems, including breathing and digestive difficulties, sleeping problems, headaches, concentration and memory problems.
“Driven demented” by the noise, the Keanes say that a number of doctors have told them that the solution to their health problems is to move home.
“We were referred to a mental health unit in Roscommon and the advice is help and short-term medication but ultimately you have to leave your home. The consultant psychiatrist diagnosed chronic stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation… We have to remove ourselves from the source of the problem because we know that the turbines ain’t going anywhere,” Dorothy said.
The Keanes say that while they have made their house “valueless” by going public with their problems, they say they decided to speak out to alert people to the dangers of windfarms.
“The home we are living in was meant to be our retirement home that we would be carried out of in a box, instead we will be carrying out boxes. We’re blessed that we have the resources to rehome ourselves but our rainy day money is gone. The rainy day has come,” Michael said.
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