Campaigners against the erection of wind turbines in Meath remain unconvinced by statements from Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte that plans for giant windfarms have been shelved.
The apparent withdrawl by the UK government from the proposed plan to purchase Irish wind energy this week led Minister Rabbitte to say that he was doubtful about the future of the agreements between the Republic and the UK and could not see the energy export project going ahead “as envisaged”.
It has been widely reported that the plan for windfarms had been scrapped in the face of widespread concerns at community level about the construction of 180m turbines in the countryside. At least 1,000 turbines were to have been erected across Meath, Kildare, Westmeath, Offaly and Laois.
However, local campaigners against the turbines were this week cautious about the shelving of the project.
Fianna Fail Cllr Bryan Reilly gave a cautious welcome to the statement saying that while Mr Rabbitte’s comments were “good news”, it did not signal the end of the project “to impose these monstrosities on the communities in Meath and the midlands”.
He said that the minister had been softening his stance in recent weeks and was clearly under pressure from his Cabinet colleagues.
Meath Wind Information Group (MWIG) said it was not convinced that the threat of giant industrial wind turbines had now been killed off by the withdrawal of the UK government from the proposal to purchase Irish wind energy.
There still remained “a real threat” that the companies involved in the projects will switch from exporting wind energy to supplying Ireland’s own national grid. “Communities in Meath are still facing the prospect of living in Europe’s biggest windfarm,” the group said.