Seven thousand people from forty countries are reported to have signed a petition protesting planning permission for a wind farm overlooking the historic spot where the River Lee begins its course to the sea at Cork Harbour. The petition describes Bord Pleanala’s approval of the wind farm, with 178-metre high turbines, as an “act of national self-harm” against “a special place in the hearts of Irish people and many others around the world.”
Cork County Council, which originally refused planning permission has agreed in cross-party political support to tell Environment Minister Eamon Ryan of their “frustration that a highly intrusive, visually domineering form of development that debases the integrity and the landscape character” of Gougane Barra is being permitted.
It is the West Cork location where the Patron Saint of Cork lived as a hermit and gathered disciples, according to history, “before he moved to Cork to found a monastery at the mouth of the Lee which became a centre of learning.”
The Council refused permission to Wingleaf Ltd. to build a seven-turbine windfarm at Curraglass/Derreendone.
An Bord Pleanala was told by its own Inspector “in the strongest possible terms” that the development should not be allowed.
Rejecting that, the board said the wind farm would “make a positive contribution to the implementation of Ireland’s national strategic policy on renewable energy and its move to a low energy carbon future”.
“This is in contravention of our county development plan”, said Fianna Fáil councillor Deirdre Kelly. ”Everyone is appalled by this.”
In the Dáil Cork T.D. Aindrias Moynihan said: “You cannot make another Gougane Barra, but you can find other locations for a wind farm.”
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