Wind group asks Minister for help

Campaigners against industrial turbines in Laois made a pitch for support to Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly during his visit to Laois.

Campaigners against industrial turbines in Laois made a pitch for support to Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly during his visit to Laois.

“It was a very constructive meeting, short and very succinct,” said Henry Fingleton of Wind Aware Ireland.

He hopes Minister Kelly will now argue their case.

“I am hoping he will go back to cabinet and argue that this policy is irrational,” he said.

He told the Minister that the noise level permitted by current planning guidelines is four times higher than that recommended by the World Health Organisation.

“No windfarm should have been allowed. The government are setting themselves up for another army deafness lawsuit,” Mr Fingleton said.

He listed other points made.

“The impact on our landscape, community and families. To live in our homes not overshadowed is a right. These turbines have miniscule CO2 savings, and we already have a huge capacity on our grid that we don’t need,” he said.

He also said that the Chief Medical Officer of Ireland “has acknowledged that a cluster of symptoms are related to Wind Turbine Syndrome”.

“Most are related to sleep deprivation, such as long term cognitive impairment and nausea. Setback to prevent this needs to be two kilometres from a 3megawatt turbine such as the ones they plan in Cullenagh,” he said.

The group will take An Bord Pleanála to the High Court in March over their approval of Coillte’s 18 turbine farm for Cullenagh. Another €15,000 of the €50,000 legal costs is yet to be raised.

“We think we have strong grounds. Judge Peart ruled in Cork last week that the grid has to be included as part of the assessment. In Cullenagh it was not,” he said, adding that 75 percent of farms approved by the board are being contested in the High Court.