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10,000 to march in ‘monster rally’ against wind power and pylons

Up to 10,000 people are expected to march in a ‘monster rally’ uniting opponents of wind turbines and pylons.

Organisers of the combined rally are expecting several thousand people to gather in the heart of Dublin tomorrow.

Buses are being hired in the border, midlands, and western counties to bring people to Dublin for the protest march from Parnell Square to Leinster House on Kildare Street at 11am.

A new group ‘Wind Aware Ireland’, combining groups opposed to overhead high-power cables and accompanying pylons and those against wind farms, has been strongly lobbying politicians ahead of the May 23 local and European elections.

Fianna Fail candidate in the Midlands North West Euro constituency, Senator Thomas Byrne, yesterday said he will be attending the rally and he believed it will draw a huge crowd.

“People in the countryside and smaller towns feel their concerns are being ignored by this Government. I’m also very sceptical about Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte’s sudden about-face on windfarms so soon before these upcoming elections,” he said.

Another European Parliament candidate, Luke Ming Flanagan, said he believed there was a parallel between these two issues and the turf-cutting ban.

He said people were having policies and developments foisted upon them without their consent, and windfarms and pylons were evoking a larger opposition response around the country.

The event organisers hope that the Easter school holidays, which started last Friday afternoon in many schools, will help swell numbers at tomorrow’s event.

Last Wednesday, the Government accepted a Sinn Fein bill for control of wind turbines, setting a strict set-back distance based on their height, but it is not clear how much further progress the draft law will make in the legislative process.