Funding re-opens near site of Derrybrien windfarm

A windfarm in operation
A windfarm in operation

THE second round of community funding from the ESB for projects in the Derrybrien area of South Galway has opened from this week with local clubs and community groups eligible to apply until Friday, March 16 next.

Since 2016, the fund has committed to investing over €63,000 in six local projects across the Woodford, Ballinakill and Derrybrien areas with a further €59,000 now to be divvied out for community and sports projects.

The community grants are part of an ESB policy to support local and community organisations where major infrastructural projects – such as the Derrybrien Windfarm –  have taken place in their locality.

Local people had bitterly opposed the location of the windfarm on the Slieve Aughties, opposition that intensified after a massive bogslide in October, 2003, leading to the displacement of an estimated half-million tonnes of peat and debris.

The felling of over 100,000 trees to facilitate the development had been opposed by locals, but the project went ahead under the aegis of Gort Windfarms Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of the ESB.

According to the ESB, the community fund initiative aims ‘to provide financial support for local community and voluntary organisations in proximity of the windfarm’.

Projects can qualify under the headings of education and skills; health, safety and well-being; environment and habitate conservationl; energy efficiency and sustainability; culture and heritage; recreation, sport and social inclusion.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.