The hen harrier and a Donegal wind farm

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Sir, – One could mistakenly deduce from your headline “Protection of rare bird of prey could halt Donegal wind farm” (September 19th) that this would be a travesty. That a mere little bird of prey could halt the halt the glorious march of yet another wind farm into our Donegal uplands, into the iconic Barnesmore Gap, the gateway to the interior of Donegal. The travesty of course is that the glorious skydance of the hen harrier would be forever banished from the Gap.

The affected community in the Finn Valley, together with many others in Donegal, applaud this courageous move by the Irish Raptor Study Group (IRSG) of seeking a judicial review. This is the second such application by Planree Ltd, a Cork-based firm, for a wind farm on this site (the first was for 49 turbines) and the community responded to both with over 250 objections. Not a reason to refuse permission in the eyes of An Bord Pleanála. Many tens of thousands of euro have been wasted on planning consultant fees and countless sleepless nights have accrued over the past four years. It is simply quite unfair.

The other aspect of this sorry saga that no national newspaper reported was that last month Planree took judicial review proceedings against Donegal County Council’s county development plan for 2018 to 2024. This statutorily binding plan, conceived by the council and approved by its members, is an imposition on plans to litter our iconic Gap with turbines.

Would An Bord Pleanála allow as much in the Sally Gap or the Gap of Dunloe? – Yours, etc,

MARIE SCANLON

Finn Valley Wind Action,

Co Donegal.

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