Midlands Northwest MEP, Chris MacManus, and Galway East general-election candidate, Louis O’Hara, have called on the ESB to “urgently” clarify soil stability at Derrybrien Bog.
The Sinn Féin representatives’ calls come following a meeting with local residents at Derrybrien Bog affected by the ESB’s ban on turf cutting at the site.
Speaking following the meet, MacManus said:
“In April of this year, the ESB erected signs at Derrybrien and warned the local turf cutting contractor that machinery could not be used to harvest turf due to a risk to peat stability at the site.”
“This contradicted previous assurances from the ESB in their windfarm planning application that the site is safe.”
He pointed to a new report from the European Commission, which has stated that soil stability “has not been properly checked since 2005”.
He recently contacted the ESB to seek clarification.
“There is a clear contradiction in what they are saying regarding peat stability. They cannot have it both ways.”
“The result of this ban is that many local families will be left without fuel for the coming winter. A fact worsened by the current cost of living crisis.”
“The local residents we met with believe that this is a vindictive stance being taken by the ESB in retribution for all that has happened previously regarding the windfarm.”
Daily €15k fines from windfarm
MacManus’ party colleague, Louis O’Hara said the main issue here is that the ESB “appear to be accountable to nobody for their actions”.
Despite them being a state-owned company, he said the government has “refused” to intervene and address this issue.
“Similarly the Government has stood by and failed to take action, while the daily €15,000 fines from the windfarm add up.”
He said the political party continue to highlight these issues at national and EU level.
“This is a disgraceful way for a state-owned company to act. Clarity is needed urgently on this issue,” he concluded.