Speaking in Co. Offaly on Tuesday evening, Sinn Féin’s EU Midlands Northwest Candidate, Matt Carthy, called for a moratorium on the construction of wind farms.
Speaking to a packed hall in Rhode, Carthy outlined the contents of a submission made by Sinn Féin on proposed changes to guidelines on wind farms.
“Sinn Féin is standing with communities who are deeply concerned at the proposals to build giant wind farms in the Midlands areas. There is a real sense that community concerns simply are not being listened to.
“Clearly the development being proposed in the Midlands is on a scale not seen in Ireland to date and people have legitimate concerns. The fact that most of the planned energy generated is to be exported to England rather than go towards meeting Irelands renewable targets adds insult to injury.
“There needs to be a moratorium on the proposed giant wind farm project in the midlands.
“Sinn Féin has proposed that a set-back distance of ten times the height of a turbine be required, and that the Government not be allowed over-ride local authority development plans by referring wind farm proposals to the Strategic Infrastructure Board of An Bord Pleanála.
“We are also calling for the proposed wind farm project that would export electricity to Britain to be put on hold, given that we believe it does not make economic sense and also cuts across this country’s own need to replace its dependence on imported fossil fuels with domestically generated renewable energy.
“Sinn Féin intends shortly to publish a Bill embodying the party’s legislative proposals on wind energy.”