Library from Ireland
The 64-metre long turbine was being taken to a controversial wind farm at Loughderryduff to replace one which snapped and fell there in March. The collapse of the turbine six months ago is still being investigated by the company which owns the site.
"While I fully appreciate the need for sustainable and renewable energy projects, they should not be allowed to compromise the viability and sustainability of parts of the county that are dependent on jobs and revenue from tourism. Another serious issue for concern is that Mayo County Council, as the planning authority, is not allowed to adjudicate on any of these proposals, and no individual or community has the right of appeal.
One of the grounds of refusal was the pollution threat to Doonbeg river, which contains 5,000 freshwater pearl mussels - the highest concentration in Clare. At a six-day oral hearing into the wind farm in April, the country's foremost authority on the mussel, Dr Evelyn Moorkens, said if nothing was done to secure the species' future, it would disappear.
"Fire crews were on the scene for six hours before the incident was handed over to the operator of the turbine." It is believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault.
"The protest march is apolitical and being organised by a broad alliance of community groups which have sprung up to challenge the need for over 2,500 giant wind turbines in Laois and across neighbouring counties," said Sen Whelan.
In Ireland, for example, a court case is pending involving seven families from Banteer, Co Cork and the wind energy company Enercon. The Banteer families claim living near a wind farm has destroyed their quality of life.
Alex Attwood said the reason a final decision had not yet been issued on the long standing proposal to erect a single 60 metre turbine close to Lough Patrick indicated that concerns about the land's religious significance were being factored in.
Two cranes and several lorries spent two days on the windfarm at Loughderryduff, near Mass, Portnoo, as the 245-ft turbine was broken down before being transported to Derry.
Kevin Scully of the Laois Wind Energy Action Group said homeowners were suffering intolerably from constant noise where the turbines had already been erected. He said guidelines on how far the turbines could be located from houses had stipulated a distance of 500 metres when the size of turbines was about 75 metres high.
"The IFA have abandoned rural communities with their unbridled backing for giant wind farms across large tracts of the West and the Midlands. Before it is too late, the IFA should also take the opportunity to revisit its tacit support for selected landowners to sign up secretive contracts with wind farm companies, which are imposing dubious confidentiality clauses and promising the sun, moon and stars in return for land rights and options".
They also fear that close proximity to a wind farm will drag already deflated house prices down even further. And with no regulation to set out minimum distances, some Irish householders are already living less than 500 metres away from the nearest turbine.
Roscommon couple take issue with contentious UK study
It is "far too soon" to make final judgments on which of the export-orientated windfarm projects now being mooted will be approved and under what terms. "There is no fait accompli at this stage. None of this has reassured objectors, who are concerned about the noise and visual impact of onshore turbines and also see the export of wind energy to Britain as equivalent to "selling the family silver".
Failure to meet the deadline will result in non-compliance costs potentially amounting to between €100m and €150m per year, for each percentage shortfall in renewable energy, and a further €250m in emissions permit purchases.
A technical examination is being carried out to try to establish how a large wind turbine near Maas, close to the Ardara area of Co Donegal, came crashing down on Thursday. While winds were heavy at the time it was nonetheless understood that these turbines were engineered to withstand such conditions.
In a statement to Donegal Daily, Vestas confirmed the turbine near Maas – between Ardara and Glenties – collapsed at 5pm last Friday in what it called ‘very high winds’.
The 64m-high turbine 'snapped' and fell over at a wind farm in the remote townland of Maas, between the Co Donegal villages of Glenties and Ardara. It came during a weekend of freak late-March weather, which saw thousands of homes in the North plunged into darkness as high winds and snow hit east Ulster and north Leinster.
One of nine Vestas V52-850KW turbines collapsed in high winds at the Loughderryduff project in Ireland. The project has been operational since 2010.
RTE News interviews Michael and Dorothy Keane from County Roscommon where they speak about living beside two 100 meter high wind turbines. Duration: 2 minutes 35 seconds
The seven families from Banteer claim they have been severely impacted, particularly through noise pollution, since the turbines began operating in Nov 2011. If the action is successful, it is expected to lead to a number of others on similar grounds. Already, cases are being prepared by householders in Wexford and Roscommon.