Supporting Local News

Residents vent their fury over proposed wind farms

Rural communities in different parts of East Galway have been warned this week of the negative impact that proposed ‘giant turbine’ wind farms could have on their lives.

Action committees opposing the scale and locations of the wind farms have been set up in Belclare, Barnaderg, Corofin, Caherlistrane, Kilconly, Moylough and Sylane as fears grow over what have been described as ‘monstrous developments’.

Tom Quirke of the Barnaderg-Cooloo Action Group said that the last couple of months had been a huge learning curve as communities realised the scale of the developments proposed.

“We are talking here about turbines 180-metres [nearly 600 feet]  tall that will completely overshadow nearby houses.

“To put some perspective on the size of these turbines, they would be taller than the height of Knockroe Hill in Abbeyknockmoy as measured from sea level.

“Now is the time for people to realise what is happening and to take action,” said Tom Quirke.

He said that there were also a whole range of health issues that could arise from wind farms for people living nearby including infrasound – a low frequency sound emission.

“There are just too many unanswered questions in relation to the health impact of what is known as Wind Turbine Syndrome such as headaches, sleep problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ears),  anxiety, dizziness and nausea.

“I would like to place on the record the support we have received from our local councillors and Oireachtas members – we desperately need proper regulation as regards these developments,” said Tom Quirke.

He added that all of the Galway East Oireachtas members – with the exception of Deputy Ciaran Cannon – were supportive of the issues being raised in local communities on the negative impacts of the wind farms.

“Another impact of wind farms is what’s known as shadow flicker – for example, a 180-metre high turbine can have a shadow range of 1.8 kilometres,” said Tom Quirke.

On Monday evening next, March 18, (7pm) the Shancloon Wind Farm Action Group will hold an information evening in the Kilconly Community Centre on the proposed wind farm project for the Kilconly and Caherlistrane areas.

In a statement issued by the Shancloon Group this week, they said that with a planning submission on the project ‘imminent’, the information evening would advise on such topics as the preparation of an objection and also provide the latest data on the impact wind farms can have on local communities.

Speakers at Monday’s information evening will include MEP Maria Walsh while there will also be inter-active displays, large-scale maps and a presentation on the impact of shadow flicker for houses close to a wind farm.

Spokesperson for the Shancloon Wind Farm Action Group, Ruairí Connelly, said that since their last meeting four months ago, they had conducted a huge amount of research, and local people needed to be aware of the impacts of the development on their lives and also on the local peatlands.

He added that MEP Maria Walsh had told them that the transition to a low carbon economy must be built upon the principle of fairness and in ensuring that no one was left behind.

“To achieve a just and fair transition, it is imperative that policy makers such as myself, listen to the concerns of those impacted by change on the ground.

“I look forward to listening and engaging with the community discussion on the Kilconly wind farm project on Monday evening,” said Maria Walsh.

According to the Action Group, the proposed wind farm development by the RWE multinational energy company, proposes to have 11 – or more – 180-metre tall turbines on a stretch of land from Kilconly to Caherlistrane, with a number of the turbines to be located in peatland.

A national day of protest over the scale of wind farm developments and the lack of consultation with local communities will be held outside Leinster House on May 21 next, involving 40 different groups from all over the country.

■ Last week, a High Court judge, Ms Justice Emily Egan, ruled that levels of noise generated at certain times of the day by a wind farm near Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, constituted a nuisance to the occupants of neighbouring properties. The two complainants said that noise was ‘like a cement mixer’ or ‘an aeroplane flying overhead without ever landing’. They added that their sleep had been disrupted; their anxiety levels had increased; and that their overall mental health had suffered due to the noise and vibrations of the wind farm.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

More like this:

Sign Up To get Weekly Sports UPDATES

Go Up