Senator calls for Kildare support for wind farm protest

Senator Whelan visits a wind farm in Poland
Senator John Whelan is urging Kildare people to attend a wind farm protest in Dublin tomorrow Friday morning, June 21.

Senator John Whelan is urging Kildare people to attend a wind farm protest in Dublin tomorrow Friday morning, June 21.

“I will be joining rural families, community groups and concerned activists to protest against the proposed proliferation of wind farms in the midlands this Friday, June 21. The protest march is apolitical and being organised by a broad alliance of community groups which have sprung up to challenge the need for over 2,500 giant wind turbines in Laois and across neighbouring counties.

“I will be taking part in solidarity and to register my concerns along with rural residents who will be worst affected if these massive 185 metre turbines are allowed to proceed in such close proximity to existing homes. I encourage everyone who can to support the protest which takes place at 10.30am from Christchurch down to Dublin Castle to coincide with an EU wind energy conference which will be addressed by the Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte along with representatives of he wind energy development companies, like Eddie O Connor of Mainstream.”

Senator Whelan, who originally hails from Monasterevin, questioned the job creation claims of wind farm developers, who have targeted areas across the Bog of Allen.

“The serious social and environmental impact aside, the economic grounds for such a vast amount of wind turbines in Ireland have also been undermined by a number of reputable economists. Senate colleague, Prof Sean Barrett points to the hefty taxpayers subsidy to private companies, which drives up the cost of electricity to consumers and industry which is highly uncompetitive - contrary to the ‘free energy’ spin which is bandied about by proponents of wind farms.”

“Finally, if everything is above board why the secrecy surrounding contracts and land options which is proving so damaging and divisive in rural communities, causing strife between families, friends and neighbours?”

- Niamh O’Donoghue