A group that’s campaigning against a wind farm being built on an archaeologically significant hill has raised almost €7,000 just days after they set up a GoFundMe page.
The Save Wicklow’s Ancient East fundraising campaign was organised to fight a proposal by German energy company ABO Wind to erect wind turbines on Kilranelagh Hill near Baltinglass.
The company had originally intended installing nine wind turbines on the hill, but after local people formed an action group, West Wicklow Wind Action Group (WWWAG), the company mitigated its plans from nine structures to five.
Planning permission hasn’t been lodged yet, but if ABO gets the green light from Wicklow County Council, the turbines would stand at 165 metres tall, each one 40% higher than The Spire in Dublin’s O’Connell Street.
Members of the action group are adamant that no turbines should be erected on Kilranaelagh Hill because of its unique Neolithic archaeology and argue that even one structure would impinge on the landscape. Kilranelagh graveyard, believed to one of the oldest burial sites in Europe, features a Neolithic stone circle and a memorial to the 1798 rebel Sam McAllister, while it’s also the burial place of a High King of Leinster. The hill is one of nine in the area that are all linked through ancient archaeological sites.
“Taken together, these monuments constitute a unique archaeological landscape. It’s important that this landscape is protected. These monuments are all legally registered, but we need to give greater attention to how they are protected in a wider context of forestry and wind-farming. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to compare this to the Boyne Valley in terms of its importance on the national level. This is a very special part of the cultural heritage of Co Wicklow,” said William O’Brien, professor of archaeology at UCC.
Local residents Paul and Kathleen Carberry and Maggie and David Case are among those who are heading up the opposition campaign.
“We have no problem with green energy, but this is not the place for a wind farm. So far, we’ve highlighted what’s unique here. Putting any turbines in this area would destroy it,” said David, while Maggie added, “even one turbine is too many”.
The GoFundMe page was set up to raise money to fight the proposal and the group has been overwhelmed by people’s generosity.
“We are overwhelmed with the amount of support that has been shown towards protecting our unique Wicklow heritage. We cannot thank the community, the surrounding areas and also the many overseas supporters enough for their enormous generosity,” said a spokesman.
The fundraising target of €5,000 was exceeded in just five days with almost €7,000 being raised and donations continue to pour in.
To donate, log onto https://ie.gofundme.com/f/fund-save-wicklows-ancient-east
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding