Protestors picket An Bord Pleanála over plans to put up wind turbines

The Irish Wind Energy Authority says wind energy essential to Ireland meeting energy commitments

Protestors picket An Bord Pleanála over plans to put up wind turbines

An Bord Pleanála offices on Marlborough Street in Dublin | Photocall file photo

Around 100 protestors have gathered outside the offices of An Bord Pleanála in opposition to wind turbines.

They are questioning the decision of the board to grant permission for wind farms around the country.

The demonstrators say the government energy policy is flawed, and will cost the taxpayer billions.

The Irish Wind Energy Authority (IWEA) says it is the only way to meet binding renewable energy commitments.

Chief Executive of IWEA Kenneth Matthews says many communities benefit from wind projects and the onus is on developers to communicate with the community early in the process, with a need for developers to “explain the project that can be delivered in that community, explain what is required of the community and explain the benefits that project will bring,” he said.

“However, it must be stated that we’ve been delivering wind projects in Ireland for the last 20 years and communities are actively on a day to day basis living in harmony with wind energy,” he added.

Wind Aware Ireland claim An Bord Pleanála are using the threat of huge legal bills "to bully community groups who oppose wind or grid projects."

"This is a denial of access to justice for citizens and in clear breach of the Aarhus convention. The European Commission is currently investigating these issues. It is actively preparing a case against the Irish government on access to justice on environmental matters," the group say in a statement.

But they say An Bord Pleanála is carrying on "regardless, arrogant in the confidence that they will have delivered for government before the European Commission investigation takes hold."

These protestors say the wind farms will destroy rural Ireland.