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Opposition to wind farm plan grows

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There is opposition to a proposal to create a five-turbine wind farm at Kilranelagh Hill. (Stock image)

There is opposition to a proposal to create a five-turbine wind farm at Kilranelagh Hill. (Stock image)

There is opposition to a proposal to create a five-turbine wind farm at Kilranelagh Hill. (Stock image)

wicklowpeople

A campaign group established in opposition to a planned wind farm at Kilranelagh surpassed a fundraising target of €5,000 within five days.

German company ABO Wind plan to construct five 165m tall turbines in Kilranelagh, and have distributed a newsletter providing updates on the progress of the planned development of Kilranelagh Wind Farm.

The Save Wicklow's Ancient East and West Wicklow Wind Action Group committees started a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for any potential appeal against the development.

Kilranelagh Hill is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. It sits as the central hill in the Baltinglass Hillfort Complex, the largest cluster of ancient Hillforts in Western Europe, which has the potential to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Prof. William O'Brien, Professor of Archaeology UCC, describes Kilranelagh as one of the most archaeologically sensitive sites in Europe, from the Neolithic stone circle and it's alignment with the solar solstice, to the burial place of the High King of Leinster.

'Taken together these monuments constitute a unique archaeological landscape. It's important that this landscape is protected. These monuments are all legally registered, but we need to give greater attention to how they are protected in a wider context of forestry and wind-farming. It wouldn't be an exaggeration to compare this to the Boyne Valley in terms of it's importance on the national level. This is a very special part of the cultural heritage of County Wicklow,' said Professor O'Brien.

The campaign to save Kilranelagh Hill involves members of the local community who feel a windfarm would destroy its Neolithic landscape.

Local resident Paul Carberry said: 'We probably have the most unique set of ancient monuments in Europe, with Kilranelagh right in the middle. The hillforts are all aligned and any wind turbines will break that alignment.

'We have no problem with renewable energy but not when it is going to destroy the unique environment it is meant to be protecting.'

The GoFundMe page was established with a goal of raising €5,000 but already surpassed that figure within five days of launching.

'This appeal is to fund our way through the proposed wind farm planning permission objection process. We received a huge amount of support which we are very grateful for. The local community and outer community were very involved. We also received support from people in the UK and US. Kilranelagh should be protected and Wicklow County Council need to look at the issue and deal with it. The problem is if an appeal is made to Bord Pleanála, then you are literally playing Russian roulette,' said Mr Carberry.

The campaign is still open for donations. Just go to https://ie.gofundme.com/f/fund-save-wicklows-ancient-east.


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