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Sinn Féin stresses importance of public participation in any wind-turbine projects

23 June, 2016 - by Liadh Ní Riada MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada this week, in the European Parliament, consulted with a number of Irish Energy stakeholders around the issue of wind turbines and the importance of a clear and open process of public consultation at every stage of a potential development.

The meeting comes as the four Sinn Féin MEPs voted in favour of the renewable energy progress report, in the European Parliament.  

Speaking from Brussels, Ms Ní Riada said,

“Numerous times the issue of onshore wind turbines has been raised in my constituency, and indeed across the island, with disputes such as noise disturbance, the threat to wildlife and the visual impact on our beautiful landscape, all being cited as concerns

“Whilst Sinn Féin supports the maximum use of renewable energy sources and we believe that we must reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and our dependence on imported energy sources. However, we must ensure that all energy projects (such as wind turbines) are carried out in partnership with local communities.

“The report that we voted in favour of during the plenary stressed the importance of public participation from an early stage in boosting environmentally friendly renewable energy projects while taking account of local conditions.

“This was not the case in the recent passing of planning permission at The Gearagh Woodland, as Cork Co. Council railroaded the application through without any sort of transparency or public consultation.

“Energy companies, such as those that I met with this week have the knowledge, the resources and the know-how to get what they want, and to get it quickly, whereas local communities may not have the same awareness. 

“Therefore, transparency at all stages of the development, from acquiring sites to planning applications, is key to ensuring the protection of our environment does not tear local communities apart.” ENDS

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