Fine Gael Deputy, Peter Burke, has called for the Hill of Uisneach to be promoted and protected.
Speaking while on a visit to Uisneach last week with Cllr Andrew Duncan and Cllr Tom Farrell, Deputy Burke outlined that the Hill of Uisneach is an important place in terms of heritage, landscape, faith, and culture, and highlighted the concerns he has in relation to potential wind turbines being located near the ancient site.
“We are hugely fortunate in Westmeath to have this fantastic cultural and historical site on our doorstep,” Deputy Burke said. “David Clarke and family have generously opened up their property to the public and invested so much on site for the good of the community. The site is so historically important that the hill is currently one of five sites being considered by UNESCO in relation to World Heritage Status.
“Members of Westmeath County Council have been working hard to ensure that the County Development Plan includes safeguards for wind turbine construction in relation to wind speed capacity designation and noise levels. We must ensure that any future developments in relation to wind turbines do not put at risk the potential development of the Hill of Uisneach as a major tourist attraction and jeopardise the chances of the Hill being granted UNESCO status.”
Deputy Burke said he is currently working hard with Cllrs Duncan and Farrell to make sure adequate safeguards are inserted into the County Development Plan to ensure the safety of the site.
“I would urge anyone in the region to go and view the beautiful surrounds at the Hill of Uinseach, which is the exact centre point of Ireland,” Deputy Burke said. “Guided tours are given from April through October and the view from the hill top is spectacular. Undoubtedly, Ireland faces challenges in relation to energy production, but placing large scale wind power turbines in close proximity to one of the most historical and culturally important sites in the country is totally inappropriate and cannot be allowed to happen.”