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Election run for Anti-turbine group

Laois turbine awareness group People Over Wind are planning to run their own candidate in the local elections this coming May 23.

Spokesperson Henry Fingleton from Ballyroan is ruling himself out of the race, but says it is important that someone from the group is elected as a county councillor.

“We are not getting enough support from the county council. The challenge is to get an candidate that people will have confidence in to represent them on a range of issues. Portlaoise constituency would be quite difficult, people there are not engaged, they don’t realise the impact of wind turbines, so it would be a harder sell,” he said.

The group will meet in early March to decide on a candidate, and have pledged to support that person on the campaign trail.

“If we pick a candidate, we will get behind them and support them. It will be a team effort,” said Mr Fingleton.

They will also have the full support of Laois anti- pylon group RTS Substation Action Group.

Their PRO is Colm Fingleton from Ratheniska, a cousin of Henry’s, with both having campaigned vociferously at national level against pylons and turbines in central Laois.

“Anybody who puts their name forward will have our full support, both issues are top of the agenda. I don’t think there is any region in Laois that is not affected by pylons or turbines, or both, with future projects not announced,” Colm Fingleton said.

RTS action group may yet propose their own candidate.

“I am not saying it is not a possibility but nothing is decided, we are meeting this week,” he said.

Colm Fingleton says political support has been mixed over the five years of their campaign against the Ratheniska substation and pylons.

“Some councillors have given us great support, Senator Whelan has been outstanding but my experience of our TDs is they are just following the party line, they haven’t looked at the full ramifications of what’s at stake,” he said.