Friday 19 January 2018

Coalition faces 'monster rally'

Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan. Photo: Tom Burke

JOHN DRENNAN Political Editor

The Government will face a major test of whether it has defused the pylon and wind-farm crisis on Tuesday.

A planned 'monster rally' of anti-wind turbine, pylon and wind-farm groups, which has been timed to coincide with school holidays is expected to attract over 10,000 demonstrators.

The demonstration is being organised by more than 200 separate community organisations from Waterford to Laois, Westmeath and the Taoiseach's own constituency in Mayo.

In an indication of the ongoing political nervousness surrounding the issue the Government, last week, accepted a Sinn Fein bill on wind turbines.

But in an indication of the ongoing electoral potency of the issue, a number of MEP candidates attended the launch of Wind-Aware Ireland – a new alliance of community groups opposed to wind-farms and pylons – in Buswells last week.

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan, who is increasingly seen to be a dangerous dark horse in the European elections, claimed that "this is bigger than the turf cutters, you go to halls in Ballinrobe with 600 people or Banagher with 200 and, like turf cutting, the issue is the same, the people are not being asked for their consent''.

Mr Flanagan expressed deep suspicion about the Government's acceptance of the Sinn Fein wind turbine bill, noting "wait until May 24 to see how that stands".

Sunday Independent

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