A Cork housewife yesterday told of her shock to learn two 150m-high turbines are to be built near her family home.
Geraldine Buckley, a mother of five, described the turbines, more than twice the height of Cork County Hall, as “monstrosities”.
Geraldine and husband Tadhg, who live near Charleville, fear their health and that of dozens of local families will be affected. Planning permission for the wind turbines, at Rathnacally, has been granted.
She told the Irish Examiner: “Nobody that we talked to in the area knew anything about this, we are all shocked. There seems to have been a complete lack of consultation and information. There are around 40 families here and we are all at a loss to know how to put a stop to this. The foundation area for just one of these turbines is half the size of a soccer pitch.
“They are monstrosities, and we want to alert people nationwide as to the real and immediate threat they pose. They are due to be erected in the New Year.”
Ms Buckley is calling for an immediate nationwide halt to all construction work on wind turbines and power pylons before “the countryside is destroyed”.
She is part of a political group called Protect Rural Ireland, which launched last week.
Ms Buckley said: “We are calling for transparency, honesty, and dialogue, all of which seem to be in very short supply on this issue which is such a threat to rural Ireland.
“We have approached TDs, planners, Cork County Council, An Bord Pleanála, and all the relevant authorities.
“While a few seemed to understand our concerns, everyone seems helpless to put a stop to this activity which we see as a serious threat to health and safety.
“Already we know of people around the country who have had to leave their homes permanently because of being near these turbines.
“The noise disruption alone has already led to health and mental health problems.
“These massive turbines are not windfarms as they like to call them; they are wind factories which will be dotted across the heartlands of rural Ireland.
“Yet all we get from the authorities is, ‘Well, yes, we hear your concerns but planning permission has been granted, and there’s nothing we can do’.
“That’s simply not good enough. We hear politicians saying all the time that they must act in the national interest.
“Let’s see them do it now and put an immediate stop to all this which is such a threat to our beautiful countryside.
“It also poses massive problems for agriculture and tourism, our two biggest employers. They pose serious risk to livestock and, of course, the thoroughbred bloodstock and breeding industries.
“Before another block is laid, we want full and open debate on all these issues.”
Ms Buckley feels the whole planning process has proved totally useless.
“Putting up a small white planning sign on the side of the road is no use, most people think it is just a farmer seeking to extend his house or whatever.
“There should be much bigger red or orange signs clearly visible to alert people to the scale of the proposed development.”
“I am not doing this just about my own family or locality, this is a nationwide issue that must be tackled head-on and straight away.”
Aerie Renewables of Rahoon, Galway, which is involved with the project, could not be reached for comment.