Turbines must have community consultation – Ní Riada

Liadh with Caroline Cooke and her daughter Katie at their home in Kerry

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said she will be investigating the legality of a set of wind turbines in Kerry.

The Ireland South MEP said she will be raising several issues both here and in Europe around the Scartaglan Wind Farm after meeting with members of the Cooke family whose home is surrounded by more than a dozen turbines.

“I met with the Cooke family in Beara, Scartaglan today and I was shocked by what I saw,” she said.

“Their home is quite literally surrounded by giant turbines on all sides.

“They are subject to colossal noise pollution when the turbines are in full spin and shadow flicker in the evenings and mornings can make it seem like there is a strobe light in the house.

“They have serious questions about the legality of the turbines, including just how tall they are and how far they are from their house and yet they cannot get answers from anyone.

“If these turbines are obeying all present regulations around them then there should be no problem in either the council or the company presenting that evidence and yet they won’t.

“Renewable energy infrastructure is crucial for the future but it must be built in consultation with communities. Countries around the world are managing to harness the power of the wind without torturing people yet, typically, in Ireland the approach seems to have been to allow energy companies to run amok.

“Just last year Fine Gael and Fianna Fail voted against Sinn Féin’s Wind Turbine Bill which would have moved turbines back 10 times their height from homes and demanded greater consultation and research to protect communities from noise pollution and shadow flicker.

“The Cooke family, along with many other communities across the country, are now living with the consequences of their decision to once again sell out rural Ireland.”

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