David Walsh is a well-known industrial engineer in the East Cork and West Waterford region, having grown up in Dunmoon, Co Waterford. Married to wife Linda, the couple were delighted when Linda recently gave birth to twin baby girls, earlier this year.
The couple built their home eight years ago, and the rest of David’s family either live in the vicinity, or plan to build and remain in the area long-term. David’s father, Pat, has farmed locally for more than 70 years, and the family made many sacrifices over the years to preserve the land for future generations.
Like many of their neighbours, David and Linda were horrified to learn of plans to site turbines in the Cork and Waterford region and say they could not believe that ‘a company would be allowed to change the landscape so radically’.
The planning application from RWE (formerly Innogy) and Curns Energy Ltd / Highfield Energy is with An Bord Pleanála (ref PL04. 309121). The company wants to erect 17 x 150m-high industrial wind turbines, with a large sub-station and battery storage facility, on the Youghal water supply.
“My wife and I decided to build our home on this particular site due to the surrounding landscape and scenery. Like many people and families around us, we have a mortgage on our home, and we are not, nor do we want to, move from here or be driven out due to this unnecessary wind farm so close to our home,” said David.
“We have been so blessed, to now have a family of our own, but we are so aware of the negative impact such a development is going to have on us and our babies from the infrasound to the shadow flicker emanating from these imposing spinning giants.”
David and Linda claim to know first-hand what effect ground disturbance can have on the water supply as they say it was only a few years ago, they were forced to bore a new well because of bore testing in a nearby wood which, they claim, contaminated their water supply.
This same test boring was carried out for the proposed ‘super dump’ at the time, which is in fact the same area now proposed for a section of the Lyrenacarriga wind farm development.
“We cannot stress enough how much we are opposed to this development which will have detrimental effects regarding the health and wellbeing of our family and our neighbours,” Linda said.
“We know from listening to horrifying stories of the profoundly negative impact that infrasound has, knowing that it has already cost families tens of thousands of euro to replace their windows in their home to try to reduce the impact of infrasound on their bodies and, more notably, when trying to sleep at night.
“Worse is the effects of infrasound on the human body which we have discovered from the renowned biomedical engineer, Dr Mariana Alves-Pereira, who has done extensive research and studies on this type of noise exposure.
“We urge everyone who reads this to look at her research. It is a very real, low frequency noise that can have debilitating health effects due to its exposure. You never know, someday a turbine farm could be built beside you,” Linda said.
The family also fear for a lot of deer that habitate the nearby woods. “We see them at least once or twice a week when they cross the road. A windfarm means they will likely be driven out onto agricultural land, disrupting their habitat in a way that is detrimental to their existence, never mind issues with the farming side of things.
“For the future of our children, growing up with these turbines can only have a negative impact,” David added.
“Yes, turbines have a place for sustainable energy but far away, out at sea – not in-land for the financial gain of the few. We have always been conscious of our waste and how our lives impact the environment around us. Green/clean energy should benefit everyone and harm no one.”
Blackwater Wind Aware is encouraging the East Cork and West Waterford communities to submit objections to An Bord Pleanála before March 5. Letters need to be posted by February 19 and include a €50 cheque, bank draft or postal order to An Bord Pleanála, posted to 64 Marlborough Street, Dublin 1.