Case study: 'Noise coming from the turbines like an army marching over the mountain'
FOR the past five years, Joe Harrington has lived less than half a mile from a wind turbine.
From his rural home in Lyreacrompane in the foothills of the Stacks Mountains in north Co Kerry, he can see many more and says it's a sight and sound he has never got used to.
The former mayor of Limerick has been a vocal campaigner against windfarms but says that in a rural community like his, not everyone is willing to speak out.
"Lyreacrompane is the one place in Ireland where you can see the most wind turbines from any one point," he says.
"The nearest one is less than half a mile from my house but there are about 100 wind turbines in the area."
Mr Harrington says the biggest disturbance from his point of view is the noise.
The new guidelines introduced state that this can't exceed 40 decibels in a home -- about the same noise level as a quiet office.
"The noise that comes from the turbines I often describe as being like an army marching over the mountain, especially when there's a strong wind . . . from the west," he said.
"The blades have to be turned off when the wind reaches a certain point but it's about a gale force eight here today and they're still going."
Mr Harrington says he's not affected by shadow flicker from the turbines, unlike some of his neighbours, who complain this is a particular problem at sunset.
But he's mindful that the windfarms are a source of income for many rural landowners, and because of that people are disinclined to speak out.