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Blight of the windfarm on communities  

Credit:  By Donal Hickey | Irish Examiner | December 21, 2018 | www.irishexaminer.com ~~

Many people will celebrate the new year tonight, but others in rural communities are living in a state of anxiety about what 2019 will bring.

They are, increasingly, up in arms about windfarms being forced on them.

Everyone is in favour of renewable energy and the Government is coming under growing EU and international pressure to up Ireland’s pretty dismal performance in the battle against global warming.

However, spare a thought for those who have to live with wind turbines.

Experts tell us Ireland has the best ocean wind and wave power in Europe, so why not exploit this untapped resource and build wind farms at sea rather that imposing them on land close to where people live?

By opting for offshore wind farms, the people element would be removed. It would, of course, be a more expensive solution, but better wind speeds at sea would be a key advantage.

Such windfarms could also be located close to major urban centres, ruling out the need for overland pylons and transmission lines, while the impact of size and noise would be lessened by distance.

At present, wind farms are being imposed on communities in upland areas and a way has to be found of finding agreement with such communities.

Investors have everything to gain, but there’s nothing in it for the communities who loudly protest that they have everything to lose.

Fred O’Sullivan, chairman of the Sliabh Luachra Wind Awareness Group, tells us there is an “impending catastrophe” looming over the storied region best known for the richness of its heritage, traditional music and poetry.

Bord Pleanála has granted permission for 12 giant turbines in the region, which would be among the tallest man-made structures in Ireland, dominating the landscape.

The World Health Organization clearly states that living close to turbines is health hazardous, says Mr O’Sullivan.

“There are children living with autism, epilepsy and one with a heart condition in our community, all who will be forced to leave their homes if this goes ahead.”

“Our community is already suffering from the stress of what is coming,” he says.

The Gneeveguilla, Tureencahill, and Ballydesmond areas along the Cork/Kerry border are affected.

The area has been designated a refuge for the hen harrier, while the River Blackwater, which flows through it, is home to the pearl mussel, which could be wiped out by a flow of silt from construction sites.

The awareness group is contesting the bord’s decision by seeking a judicial review in the High Court. A campaign has been launched to raise €120,000 to meet legal costs.

Source:  By Donal Hickey | Irish Examiner | December 21, 2018 | www.irishexaminer.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments to query/wind-watch.org.

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