Potential threat to burial site on route to wind farm
Credit: Press release, Inishowen, Donegal, Ireland ~~
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The developer of the wind farm at Crockbrack Hill has sent the Council a map that shows the route the turbines and related material will take from Noone’s Bridge past Ballinacrae Chapel into the Long Glen.
One local resident has said:
“I have recently had sight of the transport route of the wind turbines destined for Crockbrack Hill, near Kinnagoe Bay.
The most disturbing aspect of the plan is to cut through the field beside Ballinacrae Chapel to widen and build up the road to take the weight, width and length of lorries carrying turbines, cranes and concrete.
This passes close to the site of the old Ballinacrae chapel and graveyard which is still in use. Across the road is the new chapel and new graveyard.
What concerns me is that in my generation many of us know of relatives who died before baptism and in later life in tragic circumstances who were not buried on consecrated ground. It was traditional custom and practise for burials in children’s graves or along the hedges and walls on the outside of graveyards, in the adjacent field.
I go cold at the thought of a contractor possibly digging up human bones of all ages and discarding them in a pile of rubble to be dumped in a pit on Crockbrack hill”.
[See related story: “Parish priest blesses unmarked graves”]
Another local resident said:
“Two years ago we went to local councillors and they knew nothing about the wind farm or the route. Since then they have promised that the tree in Moville would be saved from having to be chopped down to get the wind turbines through the village. And now this. This is far more upsetting.”
END OF PRESS RELEASE
After the above was printed in one paper phone calls came asking for interviews on the local radio. It was of interest to the press. It was clearly of public interest. The local residents were excited and reassured by the level of media interest.
What the local residents didn’t expect was how the developer would respond.
He rang the paper and threatened them with his solicitors.
A letter from his solicitors duly arrived at the paper threatening legal action against the paper.
Then he sent the same solicitor’s letter to all the other print media and radio media in the area.
We are told by a reliable source that his solicitor letters stated the article defamed the developer.
You may have noticed that the developer’s name is not mentioned in the article. Nor was it in the solicitor’s letter demanding a correction.
The developers are two brothers out of Letterkenny called Eamonn and Niall Doherty. They have several wind companies (11 at the last count). The company that is developing the Kinnagoe Bay Crockbrack Hill wind farm is Regan Wind (Company Number: 495480). Their solicitors are Lanigan and Clarke. The consultants preparing the application, amendments and appeals are Harley Newman, Planning and Development Consultants. This is a partnership between Jim Harley and Conall Newman.
The residents are left bemused by the developer’s tactics.
Were they not planning to do an archaeological survey on that part of the field close to the graveyard, before any work began?
If they found remains, would it hold up the development?
Has the Council given them permission to go ahead?
The permission for the Wind Farm was granted in December 2012 by An Bord Pleanála, after an appeal by the developer to Donegal Council’s rejection of it. An Bord Pleanála rejected their own Inspector’s recommendation to turn down the appeal on the grounds that the site is inappropriate for a wind farm. Since then the developer has put in seven amendments and another appeal. He has yet to start building.
Absent from the An Bord Pleanála Conditions attached to the permission was the need for the developer to state the route to be used for the transportation of the turbines and relevant materials. Is this unusual?
Equally significant, the absence of a Condition addressing the route means that An Bord Pleanála obviously then did not require an Archaeological Survey on that land.
The residents are left with questions.
- What is more important, the developers’ profit or possibly disturbing the sanctity of the dead?
- Why so heavy handed with the press and media over a stretch of land? What are they frightened of?
- If they intended to do an archaeological survey, which they have to do on the site itself, why wouldn’t they say so?
- Are they hiding something?
- Will they use these kinds of tactics again?
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