Fightin’ Irish: Local Mob Goes To War Over Threatened Wind Farm

Community hostility to industrial wind power is inevitable, when the community in question is the one that ends up with 300 tonne monsters speared in its backyard.

The characters that never leave the inner-city latte zone are more than happy to destroy your rural landscape, your peaceful rural way of life and the value of your homes and properties; it’s a sacrifice that they’re always willing to make.

But, over time, those on the receiving end are becoming increasingly reticent to end up as ‘roadkill’ for the wind and solar industries.

There are few universal truths: community hostility to giant wind turbines is one, the thuggery employed by wind power outfits, is another.

Wherever in the world the wind industry plies it subsidy-soaked trade, rural folk are treated as ‘roadkill’: lied tobullied and beaten. As in the case of Jim Field, a 79-year-old disabled farmer from Rye Park in New South Wales: Wind Industry Belting its ‘Message’ Home: Trustpower’s Thugs Assault 79-Year-Old Pensioner & Disabled Farmer

This time though, the locals have gone on the offensive.

Fruit farmer protests at Kilmichael windfarm
Southern Star
Jackie Keogh
10 June 2020

A MACROOM fruit farmer, backed by friends and members of his community, stopped a windfarm subcontractor from joining mains cables to the national grid on Tuesday.

Joe Franz, a German national, who established the Fruit Forest Farm at Carrigdangan, Kilmichael, Macroom in 1987, was joined by as many as 20 of his friends and neighbours all of whom worked together to prevent the connection from happening.

Mr Franz told The Southern Star: ‘We don’t want the development because it would change the landscape irrevocably. We are afraid we won’t be able to sleep with the constant noise and disturbance and that we will be forced to give up our property.’

A planning application for the five-turbine windfarm at Carrigdangan was submitted to Cork County Council in 2015 by Keel Energy Ltd and Mr Franz said 61 submissions were made requesting that planning be denied.

Cork County Council refused the application by Keel Energy Ltd on February 22nd 2016. One of the grounds for their decision was that the windfarm would be located in ‘a permanent open location’ and would be at variance with the Council’s stated policy to protect the visual and scenic amenities of the area.

The Council’s decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanala. The board overturned the Council’s decision and granted planning permission on October 28th 2016.

The farmer said the gardaí arrived at the scene several times on Tuesday, June 2nd, but he said they were there merely to ‘keep the peace’ because this is a legal matter, outside of their jurisdiction.

Clonakilty-based Supt Ger O’Mahony confirmed that the gardaí were in attendance to ‘monitor a protest in the area.’

Mr Franz alleged that he and his supporters were ‘pushed away from the entrance to the place where the underground cables need to be joined.’

‘The real issue,’ he said, ‘is that we have to continue to maintain a presence here to prevent this development from going ahead.’

In order to do that, he and his partner, Diana Kuehnal, have, for the last fortnight, lived on the side of the road, on their own property, in a tent and sheep trailer as a means of being ever-vigilant.

The owner of the fruit farm claimed: ‘The nearest turbine of the not-yet-finished windfarm is 775m from our house, and the very large substation is only 300m from our house.’

A neighbour and friend, who is also a member of Macroom and District Environmental Group, Paul Lynch, also spoke to The Southern Star. He said: ‘Today, they tried to force through this project without local consent, but community solidarity prevailed and the workers have left.’

The Southern Star contacted Michael Murnane, who is believed to be a director of the company, Keel Energy Ltd, and requested a comment, but none was available before going to press.
Southern Star

Stand-off as landowner objects to road cabling
The Corkman
Concubhar Ó Liatháin
13 June 2020

Gardai were called on Saturday to the scene of an ongoing stand-off between a landowner and workers laying cable to connect an electricity substation located near Inchageela to nearby windfarms.

The Gardaí were called as a result of complaints from landowner Joe Franz that he had been hemmed in with railings by unidentified men who arrived at the scene at Carrigdangan before 7am on Saturday.

Joe and his wife, Diana Kuehnal, own Fruit Forest Farm, a permaculture arboretum and wildlife sanctuary in Carrigdangan. They have been camped out on the side of the road which runs alongside their holding for more than three weeks.

This follows their discovery that workers connecting cable to the nearby substation had run the cable under their side of the road without seeking their permission and, in their understanding, contrary to the planning permission.

According to their estimations, backed up by their engineer, their boundary runs two metres into the road, the L8535, and the site of the proposed junction box to join the underground ducts is on their land.

Joe and Diana have long been involved in a campaign to halt the development of windfarms on Shehy More and Carrigarierk, both of which are being developed by companies linked to prominent businessman Michael Murnane.

According to Joe, the cabling underneath their road, which took place last December when he was away attending a family celebration in Germany, and its discovery in early May when the resurfaced road was partially excavated to install a junction box, gives him ‘the tools to stop the development legally’.

“I am not totally opposed to them [windmills] in principle but I’m totally against them where developers don’t consult with the local communities, which is what has happened in this case and many other cases around the country.”

He was involved in a group which challenged the Carrigarierk Windfarm, a project of Keel Energy Limited, a company of which Michael Murnane is a director.

While the application for the five turbine windfarm at Carriagarierk was initially refused by Cork County Council, it was subsequently approved on appeal by An Bórd Pleanála, a decision which left the locals with a considerable legal costs bill which they’re still paying off.

A similar appeal against the Shehy Mor windfarm was withdrawn by the group involved when it seemed likely that they could be burdened with their own costs and that of the other party if they lost.

One of Joe Franz`s concerns about the substation which has been built close to his farm, within 300m, is that it could accommodate a much larger number of windfarms than Shehy Mor with 11 turbines and Carrigarierk with five turbines.

“There’s a complex of windfarms growing in one of Ireland’s most scenic regions, from Shehy to Gougane.”

Joe has written to Cork County Council pointing out his concerns about the substation and its ‘flawed planning application’ but, as he says himself, he did not receive as much as a receipt of his registered letter.

He said that local watercourses have been badly affected by the building of the substation.

Macroom and District Environmental Group, who have been supporting Joe and Diana, have said the development had impacted the pearl mussel in the Bandon River Basin,.

“Things have quietened down since Saturday,” said Joe. “They’ve become resigned to the fact that we’re not going away.

“Two local families with young children have left the area – that’s the lifeblood of the community,” he said.

“This is an illegal building site that has been put on our property without our permission, nor permission from the planning authorities.

“We welcome supporters to visit or stay with us on our property.”

The stand-off continues.
The Corkman

Day 30 at Carriddangan
Facebook
Macroom District Environmental Group
18 June 2020

Facebook

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Try to get a local journalist on your side and educate them as to the reality of what this means. Whilst most tow the government line on turbines, there are some willing to listen to the truth. Best of luck.

  2. Eamon sheehan says:

    Latest battle been won. Cable jointing mover off the said property!

  3. Great to see these people stand together as a community here in Donegal there are so many windfarms it is a disgrace and this past 3 months a most treasured iconic mountain is being butchered, desecrated for an Amazon owned windfarm on a Hen Harrier site, boglands along the Wild Atlantic Way. Coillte lands where acres of trees will be cut it is beyond words to see this today. The local community thought they had won the case 3 yrs ago and back they came and were granted planning it just does not make sense that this is being allowed in this country and then the torture that the local people have to live with this is not environmental filling the earth with cement and steel it is sickening to think of it…

  4. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak.

  5. Up the paddies !!!!!
    John Doran.

  6. Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

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