03 Oct 2022

West Donegal residents demand answers from local councillors

Proposed development of 23 200m high turbines not on say locals

West Donegal residents demand answers from local councillors

The area along the Gweebarra earmarked for the proposed wind farm

Residents in the Gweebarra area of west Donegal have made no bones about the fact they were upset about the proposed development of 23 200m high wind turbines in their area.

They claim the scale of the wind farm and the environmental impact on the area would have serious consequences for their lives, health, the local environment and the tourism sector.

The proposed wind farm is being developed by Danish company Ørsted and Coillte

Those living in this area,, which takes in a number of townlands on the eastern bank of the Gweebarra River SAC between Doochary and Shallogans, Fintown, are now are demanding that their six Glenties Electoral Area councillors act on their behalf in this matter. They want answers to a few questions. They warn such a development will be met with all the opposition they can muster.

They also also very annoyed that only one of them, John Seamais O'Fearraigh, (SF), turned up to a recent meeting to listen to their concerns.

Missing were: Anthony Molloy and Noreen McGarvey, (FF), Michael McClafferty, (Ind) Micheál Choilm Mac Giolla Easbuig, (Ind) and Marie Therese Gallagher, (SF).

When asked what message those present would ask of their local representatives the following summarised the most urgent:

1. Is Donegal County Council prepared to act upon its responsibility to provide in its County Development Plan a chapter on its wind energy policy to which the community can make its voice heard?

2. Does the council favour the industrialisation of the iconic and geologically significant Gweebarra Rift Valley?

3. Are the councillors prepared to stand for the good of the people they represent against Government policy insensitive to local and environmental realities?

4. Are councillors prepared to put social issues, local businesses and tourism, which are of benefit to a large number of people, ahead of one large scale development by a single commercial enterprise?

5. Is the council going to sit back and watch another David and Goliath match between a local community, albeit a determined one, and a well-resourced commercial organisation, to wait and see what happens?

6. How many councillors are prepared to stand up to the executive of the council in this matter after its failure to defend a court action from the company behind the new wind energy facility in Barnesmore Gap and the Finn Valley?

There is an implacable resistance on the banks of the Gweebarra. The ball is now in the council and councillors court, say the residents in the area.

Indeed locals throughout west Donegal are waiting for their answers.

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