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Friday 19 September 2014

'There was absolutely no consultation with any of the communities'

Sam Griffin

Published 14/04/2014 | 02:30

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Left to right: Noeleen Kennedy; Seamus Goonery; Catherine Doyle with PJ, Michael and Ellen Doyle; Daryl Kennedy with Peter, Lucy and Hugh Kennedy. ‘We felt it was very much a developer-led initiative,’ said Daryl Kennedy. Photo: John McAuley

RESIDENTS say they are delighted the lands around their homes won't be blighted by giant 600ft turbines.

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Landowners around the quiet village of Raharney, positioned on the Meath-Westmeath border near Kinnegad, had been approached by energy companies with a view to selling land to make way for the wind farms.

Chair of the Killucan Raharney Wind Farm Information Group, Daryl Kennedy said that after examining the deals, the community realised they were "bad deals". He and his wife then helped to form an opposition group to the Government's plans, after carefully researching the proposals.

"From the very beginning, our position was there was no consultation with any of the communities. There was a massive amount of misinformation and lack of information coming from the government side and the energy companies," Mr Kennedy told the Irish Independent.

He said they felt it was "very much a developer-led initiative". "We realised they had been doing their best to move everything along in the background while keeping communities in the dark," he said.

He added that the group was not anti-wind energy and said he fully recognised the need for renewable energies – but said the Department of Environment and the Department of Energy had not engaged with communities on the issue.

Mr Kennedy said "weak guidelines" meant massive turbines had been "essentially foisted on communities" across the Midlands.

"It meant there would be turbines all over the place and right in on top of all our homes and indeed homes across the Midlands," he added. "That just wasn't acceptable to us."

Irish Independent

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