A family living close to the Oweninny Windfarm construction site in north Mayo have described how they are living a ‘nightmare’ since the contractors started using a road leading to their home.
Alan and Eileen Mullarkey from the village of Shranakilla, Bellacorrick, have said the last six months have been ‘torture’ as they have had to deal with large trucks using their access road for the construction of the windfarm.
The access road to the village where the Mullarkey family live had not originally been part of the planning permission. However, Roadbridge who are carrying out the work on behalf of Bord na Móna and ESB, were given permission in June by Mayo County Council to use it due to ‘exceptional circumstances’.
The parents of five school children say the road, which is a narrow bog road that cannot take heavy traffic, is being destroyed and they fear that a culvert running under a stream is in danger of collapsing. They also have issues over noise pollution, dust and flashing lights from the site.
The Mullarkey’s were in the chamber at yesterday’s monthly meeting of Mayo County Council, where councillors called on the council and the contractors to take into account the concerns of the family.
Speaking after the meeting Eileen Mullarkey told The Mayo News that any complaints made to the contractors about issues relating to the work have fallen on deaf ears.
“They can have lights flashing around the clock outside our home and there is nothing we can do about it. We have no power,” she said.
“The road is the only way in and out for us going into the village and it is terrifying. That is the reality we have had to live with every day thanks to those vehicles. Since they came up this road it has been torture. It is not on, in this day and age, and they are getting away with it and the council are letting them get away with it as well.
“For us trying to get the boys to school in the morning and onto the main road is a nightmare. We fear for our safety all the time and it is not on.”
The Mullarkey’s met with Iain Douglas, Senior Planner with Mayo County Council, before yesterday’s meeting and said they did not come away from it with any satisfaction.
Speaking at yesterday’s council meeting Peter Hynes, the Chief Executive of Mayo County Council, said that Roadbridge are among the most responsible contractors you will meet and if there are damage issues to the road network it will be dealt with.
“There are issues of inconvenience and safety concerns and we know it. The people who are concerned about their kids going to school will be met and will be talked to and their children will get to school in safety. If there is a culvert which needs to repaired or avoided that too will happen. The conditions of the planning permission will be applied … we will treat everyone equally,” Mr Hynes said.
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