FF – McConalogue TD, Pat the Cope Gallagher

Dick Roche FF

Image: Pat the Cope’s ministerial colleague from 29th Dáil, Dick Roche FF who introduced wind farm guidelines in 2006.  As reported in the Irish Times wind farms “more likely to receive planning permission under new guidelines published by the Department of Environment” (Minister Roche).  Those guidelines remain in place to this day!

Sadly Fianna Fáil – McConalogue and Pat the Cope, failed to respond to our questions or our offer of a guest blog post, despite our various efforts.  Nevertheless we shall attempt to give our readers an idea of where they stand on wind farms.

No. Question

Our Answers (no FF response)

1

Do you, or your family members, own/direct or otherwise have a pecuniary interest in a wind farm or related company? Pat the Cope Gallagher family members appear to have wind farm shareholdings and directorships see here.  We are unaware of any direct link between McConalogue and wind farm ownership.

2

Have you ever attended a pre-planning meeting between a local authority and wind farm promoter? We are unaware of Pat the Cope ever sitting in on a pre-planning meeting.  However, in April 2011, McConalogue sat in on such a meeting between Aught wind farm promoters and Donegal Council.  (PDF)

3

How close to a wind farm would you live?

For this question assume a wind farm of 5 turbines each 125m height and select from the options (i) doesn’t matter next door is fine; (ii) must be at least 500m away; (iii) must be at least 750m away; (iv) must be at least 1km away; (v) must be at least 1.25km away; or (vi) must be at least 2km away.

(iii) must be at least 750m away

 

This answer is inline with FF wind energy policy document.

4

Do you support the Fianna Fail party policy on wind? https://www.fiannafail.ie/download/rural-ireland/Wind%20Policy.pdf, if not, why not and what steps have you taken to address these issues. No response – we have no way of knowing whether either candidate supports, or not, the FF position.

5

If elected will you support Donegal County Councillors variation no.2 on wind farm planning and make your support of or participation in a government conditional on the Minister for Environment dropping his opposition to variation no.2 and withdrawing his section 31 direction?  This can be achieved if the Minister withdraws opposition to the high court case: Campbell -v- Minister for the Environment 2014/712 JR which is set for hearing in June 2016.  If not, why not? There is no evidence to suggest either FF candidate would support variation no. 2 on wind farm planning.  Indeed given that both have ties to individual projects they may not

Also given that other senior FF party members in the county have familial ties to wind farms it is unlikely FF would support set backs and evidence based zoning.

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