Thursday 18 July 2019

Wind farm campaign to be powered by greyhounds

Maria Herlihy

It is hoped that €25,000 will be raised from the upcoming Night at the Dogs fundraiser which will go towards the next stage of legal fees to aid the Sliabh Luachra Awareness Group.

The awareness group have engaged the services of a legal team who have secured a Judicial Review  An Bord Plenala granted planning permission to Silverbirch Renewables Ltd to put in place 12 wind turbines in the Gneeveguilla and Ballydesmond region.

With the granting of a judicial review, it means no work can take place by Silverbirch Renewables until this is heard in the High Court.

A Judicial Review is primarily concerned with the decision making process rather than with the substance of the decision. 

Previously, the Sliabh Luachra Awareness Group managed to raise €12,000 in the space of just 10 days by utilising a Go FundMe page which received huge local support. 

Shaun O'Rourke of the Sliabh Luachra Awareness Group said the first fundraiser was used to secure a legal team and the second batch of fundraising with their Night at the Dogs will help continue the work of the legal team which the group has engaged. 

"The tickets are selling really well for our Night at the Dogs which will be held at the Kingdom Greyhound Stadium in Tralee on Saturday, February 23. With our booklet, we got great support from businesses in Duhallow and in Castleisland, Tralee and Currow. Our legal team are very active and are working away on our file," said Mr O'Rourke. 

He stressed as he has done so on numerous previous occasions to The Corkman that the group are pro green energy and are not opposed to Wind turbines, however, they are very much opposed to  wind turbines which would be among" the tallest structures in the entire country being so close to their homes." 

Kerry County Council shot down the planning application for 12 turbines with a height of up to 160 metres high and being 500 metres from some residents' homes. Silverbirch Renewables Ltd appealed the decision by KCC to An Bord Pleanala who granted planning permission. 

The Sliabh Luachra Awareness Group in turn engaged the services of a legal team who have now secured a JR.  

Previously, Fred O'Sullivan of the Sliabh Luachra Awareness Group said that the "turbines will be higher than the Spire in Dublin and St Mary's Cathedral in Killarney." 

He also pointed out that the Sliabh Luachra region was a catchment area for the protected Hen Harrier and Freshwater Pearl Mussel.