South Wicklow Wind Action Group, the community-based sustainable development organisation, has uncovered significant evidence of potential major wind turbine development activity in the hills surrounding the R747 road corridor, running between Woodenbridge and Tinahely.
Areas whose residents’ quality of life, sense of well-being and health -not to mention the value of their homes- could be put at risk include Ballycoog, Aughrim, Annacurra, Ballymanus, Tinahely and the many townlands and rural hamlets located along and near the main Aughrim to Carnew road.
Chairman of SWWAG, John O’Driscoll said that in addition to existing planning approval for six turbines on Ballycumber Hill, immediately north of Tinahely, and eleven at Raheenlea/Ballinvalley, lying east of the summit of Croghan Mountain, careful research of Wicklow County Council Planning files has revealed several other locations which have come within developers’ sights and have been or are currently being rigourously assesed for their wind generating potential. Locations under the scanner and the number of turbines being considered include:-
- Ballinagore/Ballykillegear, close to Ballycoog, 14
- Kilballyowen, adjacent to Annacurragh/Reddenagh 6
- Ballymanus Hill/Askanagap/Askakeagh/Ballinglen 13
and an as yet unknown number in the Ballagh/Toberpatrick area.
Mr O’Driscoll pointed out that should any of these planned 130-metre high industrial monsters actually proceed to construction, the now entirely unspoiled landscape and skyline of the Croghan Valley will be irrevocably blighted, fundamentally altered and significantly degraded for decades if not generations to come. “We’re determined to fight this all the way, for if we stand idly by and just let it happen there’s no going back”, he said and went on to recall Edmond Burke’s phrase about bad things happening when good people remain silent.
SWWAG plans to hold a public meeting in Annacurragh on Friday 22nd August to inform the various local communities of what’s going on and to ensure that as many residents as possible are fully aware of the risks and dangers of allowing such large scale industrial development to occur. There will be speakers from other parts of the country to share their experiences and to inform the meeting of what it’s like to live under the shadow of these noisy, health-endangering, inefficient, monsters and how the commercially-motivated turbine developers deal with their concerns.
In the meantime any resident of the South Wicklow area who wishes to help SWWAG spread word of the meeting, should contact either John O’Driscoll on 087 753 9476, Richard More-O’Ferrrall on 087 753 3003 or Jack Lynch on 087 941 7642 without delay.
Further details of ther meeting will be available shortly on the SWWAG Facebook page,