Cork’s county councillors came under pressure at a public meeting on Tuesday night concerning a wind farm between Tarelton and Coppeen.
More than 200 people packed the tiny hall in the small village of Terelton to discuss opposition to plans by Barna Wind Energy (part of Enerco Energy, Lissarda) for six 131m-max turbines on high ground above the village at Barnadivane.
The company has been granted permission for 14 turbines of 105m max at the location and recently received permission for a new 110kv substation. They applied in December to replace the 14 turbines with six larger ones.
Finbarr Harrington (Ind) from Allihies, proposed a campaign similar to that when one-off housing was threatened in West Cork some years ago, asking two or three councillors to put down a motion and get all the rest to support it.
He reminded the gathering however that large-scale, commercial wind energy developments are encouraged in the area under the County Development Plan.
“The councillors voted on that plan before Christmas, they adopted it. That plan says that Cork County Council endorses wind farms here, so what you’ve got to do now is get all the members of Cork County Council to go against this,” Mr Harrington said.
Cllr Michael Creed said “The County Development Plan has been adopted and the County Development Plan will last for five years.” He said he had already spoken to planners and the case would be decided at the highest level in the council.
Cllr Aindrias Moynihan said the motion would not have the impact they expected. “I can tell you plain and simple it will not work.
“I will not put down such a motion. I will not. It’s wrong. I’m here to fight the wind farm. Putting a motion of that nature will not get you the result you are looking for. I’m not going to take part in a codding of that nature.”
The fact there was already planning for turbines in the area made the challenge even tougher he added.
“It’s another meek admission on behalf of the councillors that they have no function whatever,” Kevin Buckley from Renaniree said adding “they don’t represent the people in the important issues”.
Des O’Grady (SF) who described the development as “an intolerable imposition on the people of this community” pledged to put down a motion and Cllr Michael Collins (Ind) pledged to second the motion.
Enerco Energy has declined to comment on the meeting.
A protest on the plans will take place at 10.30am next Monday at County Hall.