Sinn Féin candidate for the Mullingar-Coole area, Una D’Arcy, believes that the Derravaragh area of north Westmeath, and other areas in the Midlands, will become pollution havens if plans for industrial wind turbines go ahead.
Ms D’Arcy was speaking following an information night organised by the Derravaragh Windfarm Information Group, at which Deputy Michael Colreavy called for an all-party moratorium on industrial turbines.
“The people of this area, along with other midland areas targeted for industrial windfarm development, will bear the burden of the development while the UK and other countries enjoy the benefit of electricity created here,” said Ms D’Arcy.
“The burden includes the loss of this beautiful countryside to an industrial and bleak landscape, the threat posed to mental health, the damage down to a fragile ecosystem, and the fact that it will devalue the price of property and land and threaten the future development of tourist offerings in the area.
“Add to that the need for everyone to be concerned that Ireland has no long-term plans for her own renewable energy. I think that we should be saying no to all industrial windfarm developments for export and looking at ways to create vibrant, sustainable rural communities and how to find sustainable sources of energy that do not carry the high price of destruction of the environment or the fracturing of rural communities that rely on each other.”
She added that she hoped that people would travel to the national day of protest against wind turbines on March 5.
“I am part of a group that has come together in Castlepollard/ Fore and we are working on preparing submissions for February 21 and travelling to the national day of protest. If anyone would like submission guidelines or advice they can get in touch or even join our group. This group has a Facebook group page and all the information and expert help from many groups in other counties can be found there.”