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Wind group to push ahead with election candidate

Following the news on Friday that plans for thousands of wind turbines across the midlands have been shelved, the Laois Wind Energy Awareness Group (LWEAG) has decided to push ahead and contest the upcoming local elections.

Vicarstown man Kevin Scully was nominated to represent the group in the election and intends contesting the Graiguecullen/Portarlington municipal district.

He said: “I cautiously welcome Friday’s news that the proposed inter governmental agreement between Ireland and Britain has concluded and that the economic feasibility of projects to export energy from Ireland do not stack up. However, it should be noted that our minister has not acknowledged any concerns that were raised by members of the voting public around the proposals. Indeed, he has left the possibility of reopening negotiations at a later date hanging as a real option.”

Mr Scully said: “We have to look for opportunities for growth and the creation of long-term sustainable jobs in other areas, especially the tourism sector, in the county. Top-class facilities exist in this county, hotels and golf courses, historical sites like the Rock of Dunamaise, heritage towns and buildings, the Slieve Bloom mountains, the Grand Canal and the beautiful landscape are among the attractions Laois has to offer the visitor.’’

He also said: ‘‘It is my firm belief that future plans for the creation of jobs in the county must take into account that the skill pool of employable persons in Laois goes well beyond short-term construction positions.”

Also in related news, Brendan Phelan, the Rathdowney-based Fianna Fáil county councillor who failed to get his party’s nomination to contest the local elections, has announced his intention to run as an independent in the Mountmellick/Borris-in-Ossory municipal district.

The sitting independent councillor Ben Brennan also announced that he is to contest again in the Graiguecullen/Portarlington municipal district.