Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South Central, Micheál Martin, says the proposed wind farm at Ardglass in East Cork has caused considerable anxiety for communities from Lisgoold to Castlelyons.
Deputy Martin raised this issue with the Taoiseach during Leaders’ Questions yesterday. He informed the Taoiseach that the absence of adequate legislation to regulate the wind farm industry means communities throughout the country are not protected from the environmental and health implications of the wind farms.
Deputy Martin commented: “The proposed wind farm at Ardglass will cover approximately 18,000 acres, which is a massive area. Wind turbines in Ireland were originally 50 to 60 metres high but under current proposals they would be as high as 180 metres, which is bigger than three Olympic size swimming pools.
“These huge structures will be visible from as far as away as Waterford and will directly affect the parishes of Lisgoold, Ballynoe, Castlelyons and Dungourney. Over 300 houses will be in the immediate vicinity of the Ardglass wind farm.
“My main concern is that there seems to be a lack of transparency around this development. Local residents have told me there has been an absence of consultation while there is also a lack of legislation to deal with changes in technology and the scale of wind farm developments.
“There are also substantial health concerns surrounding wind farms and these need to be addressed. Professor Alun Evans, who has written in the British Medical Journal on wind farms, told the residents he was very concerned about the size of the current wind farm at Ardglass.
“The noise pollution from the wind turbines is substantial and residents have described it as like a plane that never lands. Shadow flicker also occurs when the turbine blades cause the shadow from the sun to flicker on and off, which is a cause of irritation for residents.
“The 2006 guidelines which currently govern the construction of wind farms are outdated and changes in technology demand that the Government urgently introduces updated laws to deal with these new wind turbines particularly when they are three times the size as the ones introduced six years ago.”