Speaking during a debate on renewable energy Sinn Féin’s David Cullinane called on the Government to put communities first and to explore sustainable alternatives.
Senator Cullinane said:
“The government’s railroading through of major decisions to do with energy production is hugely problematic.
“In the long run projects which are ill thought out, environmentally damaging and lacking in community support are not viable.
“Sinn Féin has alternative proposals regarding renewable energy.
“There were also over 35,000 submissions to EirGrid on the pylon projects. This is clearly an indication of the degree of public opinion on the matter.
“Considering the multitude of views it is imperative the government take seriously the genuine concerns of communities regarding the risks posed to health, the environment, the countryside and rural livelihoods from over-ground pylons and commercial wind-farms.
“Tomorrow Sinn Fein will launch the Wind Turbine Regulation Bill 2014 which will impose a minimum setback distance for wind turbines of ten times their height from dwellings.
“The Bill also deals with the zoning of sites for wind farms and the export of wind energy to Britain for profit.
“For many people this is the crux of the argument against the development of massive wind turbines in the midlands.
“The energy produced from such turbines cannot be connected to the Irish grid, meaning that the gross energy produced will be exported to Britain.
“Sinn Féin is committed to the development of renewable energy in Ireland that benefits the people of Ireland.
“It is not fair that wind-farms are imposed on Irish communities now or in the future to feed the energy demands of the British market.”