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Clare windfarm group takes protest to Dublin


Members of the East Clare Windfarm Opposition Alliance participated in a recent demonstration outside the Dáil against onshore windfarms.
This group was formed by people who are opposed to the planned windfarms in East Clare in Carrownagowan, Lackareagh, Fahybeg, Knockshanvo, Oatfield, and Ballycar plus the planned expansions, over and above those plans.
According to the group, developers are seeking planning permission to provide 150 turbines in a circle of less than 10km radius around Broadford.
“Clare County Council was lately opposed to these plans and wrote a letter to An Bord Pleanála asking for a moratorium on onshore windfarms, at least until new and appropriate guidelines are published and put into law,” said a group spokesman.
The group has previously warned about the impact on local communities and the landscape if major windfarm developments secure planning approval and proceed as planned.
These include 19 turbines at the Carrownagowan Wind Farm near Bodyke, 8 turbines at Fahybeg Wind Farm near Bridgetown, 7 turbines at the Lackareagh Wind Farm near Kilbane, 9 turbines at the Knockshanvo Wind Farm parallel to R471 between Clonlara and Sixmilebridge, 11 turbines at the Oatfield Wind Farm, neighbouring the Knockshanvo Wind Farm, and 12 turbines at the Ballycar Wind Farm in the middle of the residential area of Meelick. Speaking in the Dáil, Deputy Sean Canney said people should be at the top of the agenda when guidelines on windfarms are introduced.
“We have got to learn something from what happened in Derrybrien, where we erected turbines, demolished the environment…something happened there that was wrong, it’s being repeated, repeated, repeated,” said a group spokesperson.
“I think it’s time we said stop until we have something that we know and we deal with it for the people”.
While Deputy Richard O’Donoghue isn’t against wind turbines in principles, he confirmed he opposed wind turbines that don’t allow people to have a night’s sleep.
“A study carried out here showed that in order to make the number of wind farms there are in Ireland viable, a 100m high turbine must be kept 400m away from homes,” he said.
“In any other European country, the ratio is 100m to 1 km. It is set at 100 m to 400m here because Ireland has a smaller land area and what is what is needed to make it viable. The profitability of wind farms is coming down and they are showing losses. Why is that? It is because the ratio is being kept at 100m to 400m.
“The companies would like it to be set at 100m to 200m.
“That is what is wrong. Offshore turbines are a better option because they are located away from people’s homes.
“The Irish courts have ruled that wind turbine noise is a nuisance and that the neighbours of wind farms are being deprived of sleep. The High Court confirmed that the Government got it wrong. The noise guidance and planning conditions that are in place have not protected neighbours’ sleep. That is what is wrong here.”
The Taoiseach Simon Harris said he is listening to people who have concerns about wind farms.

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