Elected representatives should ensure a swift termination of EU fines in relation to the Derrybrien wind farm, instead of wasting time on “ridiculous proposals”, chair of the South Galway Flood Relief Committee David Murray has said.
EU fines have now reached €18,864,854 with an additional €15,000 per day, the chair said, for the state’s failure to carry out an environmental impact assessment at the site.
Over the past weeks several committee representatives, councillors, TDs and senators have called for the reopening of the Derrybrien wind farm and urged “common sense” to prevail.
The committee chair, however, said that this in itself is “complete nonsense” and asked elected representatives to focus on the resolution of “real issues” concerning the wind farm. He added:
“They are asking to reverse a final planning decision made by An Bord Pleanála that has taken 20 years to make. That decision has been made so we now need to focus and address some real issues on the mountain.”
The committee is still concerned with the increased risk of flooding, due to the extensive drainage dug out during construction, and landslide mitigation, according to Murray.
Instead of implementing measures to mitigate this, developers just dug massive drains without any planning or mitigation, according to the committee chair.
Other factors, however, such as the resolution of turbary rights and ensuring a safe decommissioning of the Derrybrien wind farm also need to be addressed, Murray said.
Earlier this year, the ESB confirmed the decommissioning of the wind farm after An Bord Pleanála decided not to grant retrospective planning permission, due to its negative environmental impact.
In 2003, a major landslide, during the construction of the wind farm by Gort Windfarms Ltd, had severe effects on the environment.