The Moy Valley Protection Group has announced its decision to mount a legal challenge to An Bord Pleanála's decision to grant planning permission to Oweninny Power Limited for 51 wind turbines on a site near Bellacorrick in north Mayo.
A statement issued by the group said: “Such projects bring absolutely no economic benefit to the Crossmolina and Moy Valley areas. Indeed they damage the local economy and environment. It is in effect imposing a huge economic cost on the many to the benefit of the few.
“We believe the estimated minimum €300 million cost is not feasible for the promoters, Bord Na Mona or the ESB, since without the tax breaks and captive consumers who pay extra levies in the form of high electricity bills it would be an even bigger white elephant.
“At a time when the UK and many other European countries are turning away from wind and investing in better alternatives that are greener, more secure, cost effective and more employment intensive, we need to do the same.
“Also it is environmental madness to pour tens of thousands of tonnes of concrete into bogs that have a crucial role in alleviating the flooding that regular takes place in the Moy/Deal Basin since bogs are nature’s sponges.
"How can the State, via semi state body (bodies), invest €300 million in a white elephant yet not have the millions to invest in badly needed flood defences for Crossmolina or to make the R312 safe?
“The fact is that Oweninney wind farms is not an investment but an attack and disinvestment in morth Mayo’s already devastated economy.
"It will pay virtually no dividend in terms of employment, will devalue the social capital, land and property holdings of the rural population there.
“Any community gain (ignored by An Bord Pleanála, will be crumbs in comparison to what has been lost and will be lost, and any rates coming from the project will be to a county council that seems intent on destroying the beauty of the area while doing nothing about the kind of infrastructure that is badly needed.”