Derryadd residents say Bord na Móna will not 'divide and conquer' them

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Derryadd Wind Farm protest

Local residents protesting outside Mount Dillon works in Lanesboro in August.

Bord na Móna has indicated that it will not be proceeding with further meetings of the Derryadd Wind Farm Community Engagement Forum, the Leader has learned.

In a letter to forum members, the company announced that 'independent chairperson' Kevin Gavin will be stepping down.

In recent weeks, Bord na Móna suggested that sub groups be formed with a view to making the forum more efficient.

However at a Forum meeting on November 16, residents made it very clear to Bord na Móna that sub groups would not be established and residents in the area of the proposed wind farm would stick together and not allow the company to divide them on any matters.

The Bord na Móna appointed chairman of the Derryadd Wind Farm Community Engagement Forum, Kevin Gavin subsequently resigned in the aftermath of the meeting.

In the letter from the company’s communications manager, Pat Fitzgerald, Bord na Móna went on to say that as a direct result of the decision to reject the sub group recommendations put forward by the Chairman, it now feels that the Forum has reached a point where it is unlikely to be productive “as it is currently constituted and has therefore decided not to proceed with further meetings of the Forum”.

“We will however, continue to use other channels available to us to communication and engage as appropriate with residents and other stakeholders relevant to the proposed Derryadd Wind Farm development,” added Mr Fitzgerald.

Meanwhile, the south Longford residents say Bord na Móna has put a stop to the Forum because simply put “they did not get their way”.

In a statement, residents said the ‘key recommendations’ referred to by the company fail to reference the ‘divide and conquer’ approach it endeavoured to adapt.

“This was taken to a vote and overwhelming defeated by the group in favour of ‘a ‘work as one group’ and bring top management from Bord na Móna to the meetings, and not the individuals that have so poorly represented them already,” added the statement.

The statement also goes on to say that by Bord na Móna calling off the Forum meetings, the company has rejected the fears of the community and turned their back on the residents.

“There are numerous outstanding issues that have not been addressed by Bord na Móna and this was their best way of escape so they would not have to provide answers,” continued the residents.

“The No To Derryadd Wind Farm Community Group will be holding a meeting in Lanesboro early in the new year to provide information to those present as to what took place at these meetings, how Bord na Móna reacted and the steps going forward.”

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