West Limerick wind turbine objectors take protest to Dáil

Holly and Harley Barrett with residents of Coolcappa. Photo: Brendan Gleeson

A COMMUNITY group opposed to government plans to increase the number of wind turbines countrywide, especially in their own back yard, is taking the protest to Dáil Eireann this week.

The Coolcappa Community Action Group will be travelling to Dublin on Tuesday May 21 to protest at the gates of the Dáil at 1pm, demanding the regulation of all wind farms.

The group says it is “asking the government to put nature before turbines, as the government policy is to double the number of wind farms across the country”.

“Current guidelines must be abolished,” a statement from the group said.

“The government’s current noise guidelines for new wind farm developments permits noise levels for near neighbours at 45 decibels, this is well above the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit of 37 decibels.”

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The group also cites the Environmental Protection Agency as having confirmed that the long-term exposure to environmental noise can “seriously harm health (and) interfere with your daily activities at school, at work, at home, and during leisure time, contribute towards heart disease and psychophysiological effects, and reduce performance through sleep deprivation, provoke feelings of annoyance and anger and some changes in behaviour”.

The Coolcappa group will be protesting with CEPA, a national group made up of more than 50 community groups from across the country, demanding the protection of health and nature.

CEPA is asking the government to put in place regulations for all wind farms, noise regulation consistent with WHO standards, and the elimination of shadow flicker.