February 14, 2013
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windfarmTHE Environment Department is conducting initial investigations in Co Donegal to see if people living close to wind farms in the county are suffering from ‘Wind Turbine Syndrome’, Donegal Daily can reveal.

Experts at the department are canvassing the public to let them know what it is like to experience the continual noise from turbines and whether current guidelines, which were written when turbines were much smaller, should be revised.

Margaret Ward, from the Gweebarra Conservation Group, wants anyone with symptoms to take part in the investigation.

“Wind Turbine Syndrome is a set of symptoms experienced by people living up to 10km from industrial wind turbines such as those in Donegal,” she told Donegal Daily.

“Symptoms include irratability, disturbed sleep, depression, headaches, blurred vision. The noise from turbines can be heard far from the turbines, especially in complicated landscapes with valleys, hills and rivers and lakes as the sound can bounce around.

“We have had complaints from people all along the Gweebarra river who can hear the modulating hum of the ten turbines at the Loughderryduff wind farm at Maas, especially at night.

“The noise is actually noisier inside peoples’ homes than it is outside because of the way the noise and infrasound penetrates the walls of houses. Infrasound causes cardio vascular problems as it affects the natural rhythms of the body.”

The group claims wind companies are not carrying out proper noise assessments because it suits them not to and the Council is not insisting that they do.

“The current guidelines are ten years old when turbines were much smaller. Donegal County Council just granted planning permission for 16 turbines, each 152m high, in a busy suburb of Letterkenny at Newmills. This development by GDNG Renewables Ltd has been appealed to An Bord Pleanala,” said Margaret.

“Donegal County Council reduced the legal limit of how far a turbine can be built near a home from 500 metres to zero metres,” she added.

Anyone who wants to take part in the Department survey must email with your views on wind turbine noise before tomorrow Friday, Feb. 15th, 2013.

See for more info on Wind Turbine Syndrome.


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  1. Yes it does exist,as has been proven all over the world by experts,try living near one and see and hear what its like,you wont like it much,Of course if your a developer,land,owner,or anyone with vested intrests then of course its a very different story,they wont accept any symptoms,health problems etc,even if they know they exist,Pat Rabbit couldnd even stay on the subject on primetime he avoided and skirted around the issue with nonsence about fracking even though the issue was about windenergy,He signed a deal with Britain and the fool dosent even have a clue about whats involved,just seen the money rolling in for the fat cats and to hell with our country,Britain dont want them there so where better than Ireland.

  2. It does exist Garry, it’s main symptoms are Greed and a complete lack of consideration for your neighbours and the natural beauty of your enviroment.

  3. Unbelievable!!! Are we seriously still crying about Wind Energy ? 90% of Ireland’s energy is produced by fossil fuel. Natural Gas being the main culprit. Children living within a 10 mile radius are 70% more likely to get asthma and other respiratory illnesses. Fact ! So, while all you people in west donegal cry about imaginary syndromes, spare a thought for all us people in east donegal sucking on the fumes of Coolkerragh Power Station courtesy of ESB to keep your lights and computers switched on. Are you really all so ignorant to believe that your electricity magically gets produced harmlessly somewhere else. So, for every turbine you get refused in windy west donegal, I would like to thank you on behalf of my own five year old daughter with asthma and all other sufferers over here. Wise up people and get a life !

    1. Sadly, we get very few, if any any turbines refused in West Donegal or East or North or South Donegal thanks to the carte blanche policy of Donegal Co Council in taking the Developers EIS as gospel and permitting all wind turbines without proper assessment.

      Maybe you should educate yourself a little bit about things before commenting on them or maybe you have been sucking on your fumes for too long to rationalise anything!

    2. Most children with asthma can be treated with preventatives in the comfort of their own home environment .A child subjected to high levels of wind induced noise-Day& Night because of the dangerous siting of turbines too close to peoples homes has No…….. preventative, only for that child to have to abandon their home and go elsewhere.

  4. Paul is 100% correct in what he says. Unfortunately Rabbitte and Donegal Co Council and the majority of its lapdog councillors are besotted with the wind industry and big developers and many see this review as an instrument that will tinker around the edges of the guidelines but will not actually address any of the more significant risk elements in them.
    Incidentally the Loughderryduff windfarm that is alluded to in the article has planning permission for a big extension to it which will further compound the problem for residents.

    This issue was addressed comprehensively in an article on Donegal Daily on May 12th 2012 where Glenties GP Dr Micheal Cooke spoke on the matter.
    For those interested here is the link .

  5. Dear Paul and Micheal, as well as the rest of the country choking on pollutants such as mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and fine particulate matter that can affect the respiratory, cardiovascular, and central nervous systems and cause pregnancy complications because of the sheer lack of renewable energy in this country, maybe you guys should take your heads out of the sand and also realise that each turbine contributes approximately €20,000 per year to the county council and approximately €2,000,000 to the Irish government. Thats each one ! So do the maths guys, 5000 turbines sorts out this country’s ridiculous finances. It didnt cost us irish geniuses a thought to build 300,000 houses to many which created this problem. Perhaps its time we did something right for a change. Perhaps its time Donegal started contributing solutions rather than more problems. Perhaps its time this country stopped spending €6Billion a year on importing fossil fuels to keep our lights on. Perhaps its time we had energy independence. No ? Its better to pander to a view miss-informed environmentalists, yeah ? who spend their days crying and trawling the internet looking for bogus illnesses, who then talk about the effects on a tourism industry we dont have. The needs of many outweigh the needs of the few. Its that simple guys.

  6. The government investigating wind turbine syndrome in Donegal ??? very strange this is the same government who are trying to fill Donegal with the same somethings not right with this perhaps this is a ploy to cover the no consultation,and complete compliance of council,developers,government,who want wind energy despite all the negitive aspects involved Neill seems to have a lot of knoweledge about what Donegal people want perhaps,hes got reasons unknown by the ignorant donegal people he mentioned, to be so windfarm friendly.

  7. Mr Rabbitte could do well to remember also that his denied claims of “putting a wind farm at every cross roads” and the pressure he puts on local, mostly rural, communities to fight back against his cronies in the Great S-wind-le Game also causes irratability, disturbed sleep, depression, headaches and blurred vision. Did you just look in amazement at the earnest buffonery of the developers on Prime Time waxing lyrical of the benefits that will accrue from the BILLIONS they will spend. What they didn’t tell you was that it was NOT their own money they intend to spend. But then again neither did their cousins, the property developers, tell you 10 years ago, or five years ago, that they weren’t going to spend their own money either. Of course you do know that YOU are now paying off their loans in your taxes….
    Did the government learn anything from that mess???????

  8. My dearest Niall, like I said earlier, go and educate yourself a little on this topic as sadly you haven’t the foggiest idea about it. All those noxious fumes are affecting you more than you think. Not even the IWEA or their puppet Rabbitte spew such nonsense!

    Take a deep breath …..
    By the way I sincerely hope your daughter gets better although I note that you weren’t long shifting to matters of a monetary nature. Maybe you should contemplate putting a few industrial turbines in the field at the back of the house, you could then be happy in the knowledge that other children are also suffering – from sleep disorders, tinnitus etc etc.

    I’m sure DCC will accomodate you.

  9. Interesting how Neill is so sure of the figures involved,only someone with a vested interest would study all the data available right down to the very amounts for governments,councils,only thing omitted was what the poor land owners get for each turbine,esb poles,lattice pylon,that stand so proudly and ugly on the landscape of our once scenic and beautifull hills ,one to be very proud about,wonder what will be said in years to come about the fools involved in these great money fulled deals,not a lot to be proud of I would think.

  10. Hi again Tony, Micheal, Phil and “Donegal Trekker” . Let me get this right now, are you guys really so blinkered as to believe that the electricity you obviously take so much for granted is produced harmlessly and magically somewhere else in Ireland without any consequences ? Would it surprise you to know that 90% of it is produced by fossil fuel in densely populated areas ? Would it surprise you to know that these local populations have been suffering severe health problems for the last half century ? If you dont believe me guys, google Eirgrid and check out the locations of all the “natural gas” electricity generating stations then cross reference your findings with the Cancer Atlas of Ireland. You might find that this little bit of research gives your silly complaints some perspective. Also, if you bothered to try and educate yourselves just a little further it might also surprise you to know that nearly 100% of all finance required to build wind-farms nowadays in Ireland has to come from overseas because its one of the few areas/industries left in this country that we haven’t already made a mess of ! Every billion euro of foreign direct investment in this industry in Ireland leaves circa 250 million euro in the local economy. How many million hill walkers would we need to match that ? Blinkers off sheeople ! Last time I checked there is not exactly a qeue of investors outside Ireland’s door wanting to spend money in this banana economy.

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