Longford County Council ‘100 per cent' against Derryadd windfarm

Windfarm row takes fresh twist: Bord facing calls to reject plans

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

Longford County Council ‘100 per cent' against Derryadd windfarm

Members of the 'No to Derryadd Windfarm' group at the recent meeting held at the Lanesboro Co-op. Photo shows to scale the height of one of the proposed wind turbines relative to a local property.

An Bord Pleanala bosses are to receive a “100 per cent” unanimous objection from Longford County Council over the coming days concerning Bord na Mona’s contentious Derryadd windfarm plans.

Local politicians wholeheartedly agreed to table its submission to the state planning appeals body at a special meeting on Monday as the ongoing row over its proposed development cranked up a notch.

Independent Cllr Mark Casey led those calls, describing the plans as being akin to “environmental genocide”.

He said: “The size of these windfarms is the biggest in the world. They are only going to be 750 metres from people’s houses.

They are 185 metres high and there is nothing like this anywhere else.

“There will be nearly 100 loads of concrete for each base.

“If you work that out it’s about 60 tonnes per turbine and that’s about 1,800 tonnes of concrete poured into our bogs that will never come out. You can take out the turbines but there will be no one that will be able to take out that concrete.”

Not for the first time, Cllr Casey reserved stinging criticism for Bord na Mona, a company he said had belied its otherwise proud history in peat production.

“It’s an absolute disgrace the way Bord na Mona have treated the local community and Bord na Mona would have a proud history of peat generation.

“What this is down to is a land grab and money. This is not about the environment, this is about making a fast buck on the local community,” he said.

They were comments which were shared by Fianna Fáíl’s Martin Mulleady.

The long serving councillor, who is bowing out of local politics at the end of May, expressed his alarm at the sheer scale of the mooted project.

“I am in the construction game myself and to hear the amounts of concrete that is going to go into these is phenomenal.

“I don’t think you would see it on many sites in Dublin never mind down here in the midlands.

“I think we have to send out a very strong message that we are not in support of this because if we let them come into south Longford, the next thing they will be in mid and north Longford.”

Cllr Gerry Warnock likened the venture to a scene from Gulliver’s Travels, saying the only place for enterprises of such magnitude was off shore.

“We were a playground for the rich and famous and the faceless bureaucrats during the Section 23 times when these guys came in and made a building site out of our county.

“We don’t want to be in a similar position in five or 10 years time where we are dealing with the fallout of what I think will be an environmental catastrophe,” he said.