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Elected members of the local authority are calling on Green Party leader, Eamon Ryan to revise and update the current “outdated” wind energy development guidelines.
A motion which was passed at the most recent full meeting of Limerick City and County Council was submitted due to plans for the development of a wind farm in a West Limerick community.
Residents in Coolcappa have fears that they will be subjected to shadow flicker, where the wind turbine propellers cast a consistent split-second shadow in a room when the sun is low in the sky. They have also raised concerns over potential noise pollution.
Fine Gael councillor for the municipal district of Adare-Rathkeale, Adam Teskey, proposed the motion. “Wind energy is better off shore and that’s my opinion of it and I stand over that,” Mr Teskey said.
He added that it is a shame to see “good arable land being taken up” by turbines when it could be land for agriculture.
Independent councillor for Adare-Rathkeale, Emmett O’Brien seconded the motion, drawing scepticism over the need for wind turbines.
Fine Gael councillor for Adare-Rathkeale, Stephen Keary also supported Mr Teskey’s motion saying the sporadic nature of wind farms throughout the rural countryside is not appealing. “If you drive from here to Laois, there’s a wind farm on the left-hand side and those turbines are rarely turning, I would say there isn’t enough power to boil an egg,” Mr Keary said.
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However, he said he does support wind energy but believes it should be on a more consistent level, saying the west coast of Ireland is a prime source for wind energy.
Green Party councillor for Limerick City East, Seán Hartigan disagreed with negative remarks over wind energy.
“If there is a reason for council meetings to be televised and broadcast to the public, a discussion on this motion would justify it in itself. People need to see what they elected, the climate deniers they’ve elected. People talking absolute nonsense here about there not being enough wind to boil an egg,” Mr Hartigan said.
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“Renewables are the way forward, we have people talking about the impacts of wind on children but not talking about the impact of fossil fuels and coal on air pollution,” Mr Hartigan said.
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