A DEVELOPMENT group that is applying for a judicial review into the controversial decision by An Bord Pleanála to grant planning permissions for a windfarm in Gougane Barra has raised over €10,000 in a few days.
Following legal advice, Coiste Forbatha Béal Átha’n Ghaorthaidh CLG are seeking to raise almost €95,000 over the next two weeks to apply to the High Court for a judicial review into the decision to grant planning for a €30m windfarm in the scenic location.
‘Raising this amount of money is a difficult challenge for a small community. We invite everyone touched by the magic of Gougane Barra to join us in this fight to preserve it by making a contribution to the cause, no matter how small,’ said campaign spokesperson Neil Lucey of the Gougane Barra Hotel.
‘If we exceed our goal, any excess funds will be used to enhance the community in the locality of Gougane Barra, for the residents and the many visitors who come here every year to share this haven with us.’
‘As the ancient Irish proverb goes: Ní neart go chur le chéile – there is no strength without unity.’
An Bord Pleanála granted a 10-year planning permission last month to Wingleaf Ltd to construct seven wind turbines in Curraglass, Derreendonee, and Cappaboy Beg, despite the fact that Cork County Council had already refused planning permission for the development. An Bord Pleanála’s own senior planning inspector Kevin Moore also rejected it but the board went against his advice.
The turbines would be 178m high, on elevated ground, and would be just under 2km from the iconic setting of St Finbarr’s Oratory in Gougane Barra, which is one of the most photographed scenes in Ireland, and a popular wedding location.
At a recent meeting of Cork County Council, councillors unanimously declared their opposition to the planned wind farm, while a petition on change.org attracted more than 10,000 signatures in just over a week.
‘People from over 40 countries around the world have signed, establishing this as far more than a local issue.’
To donate to help with the judicial review see ‘Save Gougane Barra Fund’ on idonate.ie