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Curtis slams wind farm accusations

COUNTY Council Chairman Jimmy Curtis bitterly denounced his accusers at a council meeting on Monday. 'The finger has been pointed at me,' said an angry Cllr. Curtis, speaking during a brief debate on the strategy for wind farms, which had divided parts of rural Wexford into those for and those against.

'They said I had a vested interest in a wind farm development, I take exception to that,' said Cllr. Curtis, without identifying whom be believed was responsible for the finger pointing.
The object of his ire was a letter sent to all councillors signed by three members of the Save Kilbraney Group formed to fight plans by Dutch developers WEOM for a wind farm near Newbawn. The county council recently turned down the firm's application.
The letter said one of the councillors in the area, whom it did not name, had a 'vested interest in wind farm development himself'.
'We are seriously concerned about this and seek the assurance of all county councillors that our area remains a 'no go' area and that any decision on this is transparent and above board,' said the letter, a copy of which has been obtained by this newspaper.
An uncompromising Cllr. Curtis said on Monday it was a 'damned lie' that he had any interest in any wind farm development.
'In this regard I don't have any interest, my son may have, but I don't have,' he said.
'I don't like people telling lies. If they are going to tell lies about a public representative, they might be telling lies in submissions as well.'
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'They said I had a vested interest in a wind farm development, I take exception to that,' said Cllr. Curtis, without identifying whom be believed was responsible for the finger pointing.
The object of his ire was a letter sent to all councillors signed by three members of the Save Kilbraney Group formed to fight plans by Dutch developers WEOM for a wind farm near Newbawn. The county council recently turned down the firm's application.
The letter said one of the councillors in the area, whom it did not name, had a 'vested interest in wind farm development himself'.
'We are seriously concerned about this and seek the assurance of all county councillors that our area remains a 'no go' area and that any decision on this is transparent and above board,' said the letter, a copy of which has been obtained by this newspaper.
An uncompromising Cllr. Curtis said on Monday it was a 'damned lie' that he had any interest in any wind farm development.
'In this regard I don't have any interest, my son may have, but I don't have,' he said.
'I don't like people telling lies. If they are going to tell lies about a public representative, they might be telling lies in submissions as well.'
Lobby groups both for and against wind farm developments were in the council chamber to hear the chairman's outburst, with several unable to get seats because of the crush.
Among those outside the Chamber during the debate were Mr. Curtis' son Frank and his nephew Frank Whelan, both members of the so-called Ballybrack Community Wind Group, a body of four local farmers based around the Foulkesmills area who want to establish a wind farm.
'To date you have received numerous documents which oppose the establishment of wind farms and we would ask that you take a balanced view and not be influenced by this propaganda and false misleading information,' said a statement issued on behalf of the Ballybrack Group.
Cllr. Larry O'Brien proposed that the wind farm strategy decision should be deferred for a month to allow members tome to study the document ahead of the meeting, at which time it could go on public display.
'Before it goes on display I'd like it to go to each district,' said Cllr. O'Brien.
However, Cllr. Padge Reck urged a debate on Monday.
'We won't have a leg to stand on if we don't have a policy,' said Cllr. Reck, saying this would prove a real problem for contentious wind farm issues referred to An Bord Pleanala.
'The people will never forgive us if there are windmills where they don't want them because we don't have a strategy,' said Cllr. Reck.
Cllr. Declan McPartlin said it appeared from his reading of the draft strategy that most of the preferred areas for windfarms appeared to be in the north of Wexford.
The unrelenting Cllr. Curtis said he was unhappy about the strategy document and would be opposing it.
Members agreed to defer it for a month.
A spokesperson for the 'Concerned Citizens' of the Pierestown/Murrintown and Mayglass areas, which is fighting plans for a windfarm in the area, said the decision to defer the strategy was sensible, given that the ramifications of it would be so far reaching.
'When the decision is made, it has got to be the right decision,' she said, 'it will define the future of Wexford.'

Source: http://www.unison.ie/gorey_...

FEB 16 2006
https://www.windaction.org/posts/1380-curtis-slams-wind-farm-accusations
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