Windfarm protesters gutted over ruling
Hundreds of families that will be living in the shadow of the largest turbines to ever be erected in the State are now urging the handful of neighbours on whose land the massive machines are to be erected to 'rethink going ahead'.
North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group (NKWTA) issued its calls following a public meeting on Monday night in the aftermath of last week's Commercial Court ruling that effectively allows the project proceed.
Gutted by the ruling, protestors are now talking about the need for the 'gloves to come off' in their long-running fight.
Stacks Mountain Windfarm Ltd lodged its first application for the ten, 156.5m tall turbines in the low-lying farmland area of Ballyhorgan, Finuge three years ago prompting an extraordinary protest movement among hundreds of locals who will be directly affected by the turbines.
They galvanised around the NKWTA group, submitting the greatest number of objections (over 360) ever received by Kerry County Council to a single plan. Kerry County Council refused the plan, but it was appealed by the company to An Bord Pleanála, which approved it.
That resulted in the group seeking the judicial review that came before Mr Justice McGovern at the Commercial Court last week whose ruling, on Thursday, upheld the decision of the Bord in a move greeted with 'deep sadness and disappointment' by the group.
"It is with a deep sense of sadness and disappointment that the North Kerry Wind Turbine Awareness Group has learned that Mr Justice McGovern issued his decision this morning (Thurs 09 Mar) at 10.30am, and has upheld An Bord Pleanala's grant of planning permission for the 10 x 156.5m turbines, with 16 conditions attached, in the Ballyhorgan/Finuge area," the group stated after Monday's meeting.
Mr McGovern found that An Bord Pleanála did not make any errors in law when it overturned Kerry County Council's refusal of planning for the project.
The group thanked all who supported it through a long process it described as 'exhaustive both emotionally and financially'. They are not giving up the fight, calling now on the developer and landowners to 'consider how vehement opposition is' and to 'rethink':
"We would appeal to Mr Michael Murnane of Stacks Mountain Windfarm, and to the 10 primary and numerous secondary land owners who signed contracts giving land and access routes to the Company, to consider how vehement opposition in the area has been to this project, and to rethink going ahead, even though the High Court has denied our appeal. appeal. No court ruling can make bogland located in the centre of the most densely populated rural area in Western Europe a suitable location for an industrial windfarm."
A Supreme Court appeal remains an option, but is thought to be prohibitively expensive for a voluntary community group hard-pressed after such costly proceedings.