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EU Commission has responsibility to protect Gearagh woodland

17 June, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has written to the European Commission after Cork County Council granted planning permission for the development of up to six wind turbines at the head waters of the Toon River, which flows into the Gearagh woodland.

The Ireland South MEP said,

“The Gearagh Woodland in Co. Cork is a unique example of an ancient post-glacial alluvial forest and is designated as a Special Area of Conservation by Ireland, which is considered to be important on a European as well as Irish level.

“However Cork County Council has recently bulldozed through and granted planning permission for the development of up to six wind turbines.

“An Bord Pleanála has recognised the adverse potential of this development on this sensitive and ecologically-important area through flash flooding.

“In light of the flooding, the risks to the Gearagh and its flora and fauna, not to mention the homes and livelihoods of the local people, I have written to the European Commission asking that concrete measures be set in place to guarantee an immediate stop to this development until a complete evaluation and environmental impact assessment is carried out.

“The legal basis on which the Special Area of Conservation are selected and designated is the EU Habitats Directive and due to the adverse effect this development will have, this is an issue the EU needs to take action on ” ENDS

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