08 Apr 2013
LABOUR SENATOR’S ATTACK ON IFA ‘MISLEADING + MISCHIEVOUS’Environment & Rural Affairs
IFA South Leinster Vice-President + Wind Energy Project Team Chair Jer Bergin has described comments made by Labour Senator John Whelan about IFA’s negotiations with the wind development companies purposing to build two wind farms in the midlands as ‘misleading and mischievous’.
Jer Bergin said, “Several hundred farmers are being approached by the wind companies and are being asked to sign onerous option agreements, which may compel them to sign a lease agreement at a later stage. IFA has an obligation to ensure that any contract put before a farmer whether for milk, a tillage crop or in this case renewable energy is fair and balanced. This is the basis upon which we entered into discussions with both Element Power and Mainstream Renewable Power”.
“It’s about getting the balance right between the rights of farmers and the entitlements that the wind development companies are seeking. Any other interpretation of IFA’s role is misleading and mischievous, to say the least.”
Mr. Bergin added, “IFA members have legitimate concerns about the wind proposals. The planning process will provide an opportunity for the local communities to have their say and set out their concerns. However, in the first instance we would appeal to both wind development companies to engage directly with the local communities. Ideally, issues raised should be addressed before the wind development companies submit their planning applications.”