Minister must address refusal of consent for Derrybrien windfarm development says Cannon

Fine Gael TD Ciaran Cannon has called on Eamon Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications to immediately intervene in the ongoing saga of a wind farm development at Derrybrien, Co. Galway, on foot of Tuesday’s refusal by An Bord Pleanala to grant retrospective consent for the wind farm.

The refusal means that Ireland must continue paying a fine of €15,000 per day, which was imposed by the European Court of Justice in November of 2019. To date Ireland has paid over €15m in fines. “The ESB had an opportunity here when lodging its consent application with An Bord Pleanala to address all of the concerns raised by locals in Derrybrien and South Galway.

“It now seems that their application didn’t do that and An Bord Pleanala had no option but to refuse it. I’m now calling on Minister Eamon Ryan to immediately intervene here, and to engage directly with ESB management, to ensure that they act quickly and responsibly to address the concerns raised by An Bord Pleanala in their refusal”, said Deputy Cannon.

Deputy Cannon has submitted a request to the Oireachtas for the issue to be debated as a Topical Issue as soon as possible, with Minister Ryan appearing to answer questions about the debacle.

“As far back as July 2019, Galway Co. Council instructed the ESB to seek retrospective compliance with the EU Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments. The ESB had ample time to do so. They were also approached on a number of occasions by locals who were anxious to meet with them and discuss how the environmental shortcomings might be addressed, but they never responded adequately.

“It’s now time for the Minister and his officials to intervene directly and ensure that this long running saga is brought to a close. Burdening Irish taxpayers with a daily fine of €15,000 while the ESB continues to fail in its responsibility to fix this mess is just not acceptable”, concluded Deputy Cannon.


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