Locals facing second round of wind fight

Dónal Nolan

Campaigners against the encroachment of wind turbines around the village of Ballylongford are poised to fight what is effectively the same wind farm plan for a second time.

NMWT@Ballylongford group is now calling a public meeting in the parish hall for 11am on Sunday next to galvanise support ahead of a second campaign against efforts by firm Ballylongford Windfarm Group to erect 126.5m-high turbines outside the village.

The firm's plans for eight turbines were refused by the Council last year and An Bord Pleanála on appeal in January. But the firm is now submitting a fresh application for six turbines.

"We feel we are becoming locked in a permanent fight now against the plans to erect more and more turbines around our community," chairperson of the NMWT@Ballylongford (No More Wind Turbines) Tony Dowd told The Kerryman.

"There are now 31 turbines around Ballylongford with plans for forty more in train. It's a case now of 'welcome to wind farm alley' for people coming off the ferry."

Mr Dowd says the existing turbines are negatively affecting many, with people losing sleep.

"Decibel levels from a windfarm 700m from my home are equivalent to traffic from a major road. We need to start looking at off-shore wind power as is now happening in the UK, at a time when many of these windfarms here are being bought up by American investment funds."