Deputy Peter Burke, Fine Gael TD for Longford and Westmeath has said that the Hill of Uisneach is a fantastic natural resource in the region, one which we must promote and protect.
Speaking while on a visit to Uisneach last week with Cllr. Andrew Duncan and Cllr Tom Farrell, Deputy Burke outlined that the Hill of Uisneach is an important place in terms of heritage, landscape, faith and culture and highlighted the concerns he has in relation to potential wind turbines locating near the ancient site:
“We are hugely fortunate in Westmeath to have this fantastic cultural and historical site on our doorstep. David Clarke and family have generously opened up their property to the public and invested so much on site for the good of the community. The site is so historically important that the Hill is currently one of five sites being considered by UNESCO in relation to World Heritage Status.
“Members of Westmeath County Council have been working hard to ensure that the County Development Plan includes safeguards for wind turbine construction in relation to wind speed capacity designation and noise levels. We must ensure that any future developments in relation to wind turbines do not put at risk the potential development of the Hill of Uisneach as a major tourist attraction and jeopardise the chances of the Hill being granted UNESCO status. There are magnificent 360 degree views from the summit which on a clear day can encompass 20 counties-these would be entirely spoiled if Westmeath County Council does not ensure adequate safeguards are in place. I am working hard with my colleagues Andrew Duncan and Tom Farrell to ensure this these safeguards are inserted into the county development plan ”.
“I would urge anyone in the region to go and view the beautiful surrounds at the Hill of Uinseach, which is the exact centre point of Ireland. Guided tours are given from April through October and the view from the hill top is spectacular. Undoubtedly, Ireland faces challenges in relation to energy production but placing large scale wind power turbines in close proximity to one of the most historical and culturally important sites in the country is totally inappropriate and cannot be allowed to happen”.