Monday, 1 November 2010

Things Fall Apart in Kiltumper

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
- from The Second Coming by W.B.Yeats

Autumn in Kiltumper.  Peaceful, right?  Idyllic? Yes, certainly. Will it last? Ah... that is the big question facing us now.  An Bord Plenala, Ireland's Planning Board, has rejected our appeal asking that it overturn Clare County Council's decision to allow a man from the village of Kilmihil to erect two giant wind turbines 500 metres from our bedroom. (The man does not live near the site of the planned wind farm. Nor does the developer.)

The turbines measure 280 feet tall with a wing span of 100 ft.  The nearest turbine will be on top of the hill behind our house which is situated at the furthest corner of our smallholding in west Clare.  The nearest corner of the field behind our house will likely be within 100 metres of the wind turbine.  No longer will be walking in the back meadow of our home -- the birthplace of my grandfather and his before him. 

Imagine our disappointment and disillusionment.  Why the Irish government had decided to uphold the planning permission for 2 turbines so close to our home of 25 years seems careless and negligent. It indicates the government does not protect its citizens.  The most recent findings by European and American authorities advocate that such giant wind turbines should be erected at least 1 km away from homes and households.

Here's a photo by Ian Mynard which illustrates just how close and large the Kiltumper Wind Farm will be from Kiltumper Cottage.

Recently, we received a phone call from Clare Tourism asking if we would participate in a forum to encourage tourism in County Clare. Yes, come see the wind farms that are popping up like poisonous mushrooms all over west Clare.  Yes, by all means come listen to them at night when you can't fall asleep because of the blades swishing.  It might lull you into a stupor of disbelief.  It may even turn you into a cynic.


irishkiwi said...

I do feel for you. Wind turbines are, in some situations, things of sculptural beauty, but not so close to your home.

They are popping up in our country too. Like Ireland, New Zealand is an island nation with no shortage of wind. We rely on hydro-electricity but there is strong feeling against further destruction of river systems, we are strongly opposed to nuclear power, coal-fired power is seen as environmentally unfriendly. So perhaps wind power is a lesser evil.

There are cases like your own where wind turbines have been placed with little regard for land-owners' rights, and a further blot on the landscape are the pylons erected to take power from the wind-farm.

I have no answers for you, except for the flippant response, if you can't beat them, join them. If you're interested in what's happening here, Google wind farms in New Zealand.

Look forward to more blogs from you, Christine. Any news on the film of Four Letters of Love?

Anonymous said...

imported middle class snobbery, rather boring?

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