The impact on future generations will be “detrimental” if the number of wind farms in rural areas continues to grow, according to concerned residents of north Kerry.
Many have been campaigning for years against the developments in the area, as previously reported by AgriLand.
So far, over 200 people have signed the online petition ‘Stop developing wind farms in north Kerry’, set up in recent weeks by Aidan Prendeville, from Lixnaw.
As part of the petition, Prendeville explains that the environment is “critically important to our way of life”.
“It allows us to grow and develop as a community while we also nurture and take care of it, as it has done the same for us for countless generations,” the petition reads.
“The growing number of wind farms around north Kerry is extremely concerning for residents. These turbines are quite different to the turbines that first started springing up around the county 20 years ago.
“They are much, much larger.”
There are turbines proposed for Ballinagare, near Lixnaw. This has led to the formation of a Facebook group ‘Stop The Ballinagare Wind Farm’, which has over 330 members opposing the developments.
The petition continues:
“The turbines planned in Ballinagare have a tip height of 170m. They can be placed extremely close to residents property.
“The guidelines for building these turbines were introduced in 2007 and are grossly outdated. The turbines being installed at that time were three to four times smaller than what we see today. That’s where most of this issue lays – outdated legislation.”
Last month, Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley made his third attempt since 2014 to bring in legislation with the aim of implementing “sensible regulations” for wind farm developments.
The Laois-Offaly TD said the Sinn Féin bill seeks to introduce practical regulations that be implemented to allow wind farms to be constructed, but to be located in the correct places. It “establishes opportunities for community involvement”.
“They emit large amounts of sound pollution that (depending on wind speed and direction) can be heard many kilometres away,” the petition claims.
“They can also disorientate people. When the blades eclipse the sun every few moments it creates a ‘flickering’ effect, which is extremely disorientating.
“This flickering has been known to cause epileptic seizures – although rare, there are people in the community who suffer from this condition and others like it. Their lives will be severely impacted by these turbines.”
The whooper swan is well-known locally, and Prendeville notes that residents “take pride in the birds’ annual migration back to Ireland – about 500 return each year”.
“The bogs are a habitat for the hen harrier, an estimated 150 left in Ireland and other decimated species native to the bog lands. There is a serious environmental risk to these developments going ahead.
‘The impact on future generations will be detrimental’
“The EU habitats directive has stopped people cutting turf in many bogs in Ireland, this is to ensure the long-term survival and viability of the bogs which the rural people of Ireland desperately want.
“We want to see our bogs provide a safe and accessible place for all the community and wildlife to exist in.
“Building these turbines will destroy our local area, they will damage the environment, they will emit sound pollution, they will hurt property prices and they will take a great amenity away from the locals who depend on it for various reasons too numerous to list here.
“We firmly believe that the only way forward with these large wind farms is to start developing them offshore, where they won’t have such an adverse impact on people’s lives and they would be much less destructive to the environment.
“If we don’t start [to] challenge these developments now, the impact on future generations will be detrimental.”
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