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Bruckhana Turbine funding clash

A major new windfarm on Bord na Móna lands straddling Tipperary, Laois, and Kilkenny, has led to counter claims over funding for the people of Bruckhana.

The ‘Bord na Móna Clean Energy Hub’ 40 megawatt wind farm at Bruckhana will see four turbines built in Tipperary, with the potential to generate huge income and thousands of construction jobs.

However, some local people maintained that the company did not set aside any development money for community projects, as Lisheen Mines did with their windfarm.

Cllr John Hogan said that a 9-member parish forum which he is involved in, asked Bord na Mona to match Lisheen Mine’s contribution of J30,000 per year per turbine. “We got nothing and we’re very annoyed over it,” said Cllr Hogan, who has put forward a motion at County Council level that all future developments be required to contribute to local infrastructure projects. Cllr Hogan says he met with Bord na Móna management, and no development contributions were forthcoming.

A spokesperson for Bord na Móna has challenged these claims, stressing that the company already made development contributions to the County Council, when it received planning permission.Furthermore, Bord na Móna is to set up a “significant” community fund for Bruckhana, the details of which will be announced in November. “As part of our overall community engagement, we also announced that we will make a voluntary contribution to community development as part of the roll out of our clean energy hub,” said the spokesperson. “That’s a commitment the company has made voluntarily not as a result of any representations made by Councils or Councillors.”

People in Bruckhana will be able to make submissions regarding drawing down these funds during a consultation process. “This is an initiative the company is making. It was not required to do so by planning. It is additional to the development contributions.

“The company has a very strong relationship with Bruckhana, and I’m sure they will be seeking to strengthen that,” he added.