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Author Niall Williams opposes Clare wind farm plan  

Credit:  Gordon Deegan | Irish Examiner | Mon, 16 Nov, 2020 | www.irishexaminer.com ~~

Booker Prize long-listed and international bestselling author Niall Williams is opposing plans for a 10-turbine wind farm to be built near his home in West Clare.

In September, MCRE Windfarm Ltd lodged plans for the 170-metre tall, 10-turbine wind farm at Cahermurphy near the West Clare village of Kilmihil.

The proposal is facing widespread opposition, with dozens of locals lodging objections.

A Dublin native, Mr Williams was long-listed for the prestigious Booker Prize in 2014 for his novel History of the Rain while his most recent novel This Is Happiness has earned rave reviews across the world.

Mr Williams moved to Kiltumper with his wife Christine Breen in the 1980s and the two have already failed to prevent an earlier wind farm being developed close to their home.

“People live in this landscape and we believe this development and others like it, will ultimately lead to the depopulation of the region in favour of the wind industry, a situation which the planners will not only have overseen, but stewarded into being,” they say in their objection to the new plan.

A two-turbine wind farm on a site close to the couple’s home received the green light in 2010 from An Bord Pleanála.

In their objection against the current plan, they say they live within 500 metres of the constructed wind farm and “what we can attest to is that in the year in which we have been living next to the erection and the commission of two turbines, the noise pollution is almost constant”.

“When the wind is coming towards us, we cannot open our bedroom window at night without hearing the constant thump or stand at the kitchen window without seeing the blades spinning.

“So-called wind farms destroy habitats, not only for birds.”

In their direct plea to planners, they state that “we would ask you to strongly consider what is being allowed to happen in mid-west Clare and to assess if it is in the best needs of the people who are living there”.

Plan on hold

An environmental impact statement (EIS) lodged with the application states that the proposed project will create 72 jobs and that, over the lifetime of the wind farm, a community benefit fund of €5.6m will be made available.

The EIS states that the proposed wind energy development is critical to helping Ireland address a number of challenges as well as addressing the country’s over-dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The EIS states that the site of the proposed development is located within an area designated in Clare County Development Plan, 2017-2023, as ‘strategic’ for wind energy development.

Clare County Council has now put the plan on hold as it seeks further information.

Source:  Gordon Deegan | Irish Examiner | Mon, 16 Nov, 2020 | 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 via e-mail.

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