Derrybrien wind farm racks up €5m in daily EU fines

Galway Bay fm newsroom – A daily fine of €15 thousand levied on Derrybrien wind farm in South Galway by the EU has now resulted in penalties of more than €5m.

The fine was imposed last year due to a failure by the Irish state to carry out an appropriate environmental impact assessment during the construction stage.

In November, the European Court of Justice imposed a €5m penalty on the state in relation to the construction of Derrybrien Windfarm in South Galway.

The case centred on long standing concerns about the impact of the 70 turbine development on the Slieve Aughty mountains – which was deemed to have been improperly assessed.

Additional daily fines of €15 thousand were also imposed until the situation was deemed to be rectified.

According to the Sunday Times, while the state paid the €5m penalty, it has not paid the daily fines – which have now accumulated to a further €5m.

The Government says the daily fines will accrue until the terms of the EU judgement are met, which requires that the wind farm and its development consents are in compliance with EU directives.

The Department of Housing says an ESB subsidiary, Gort Windfarms, lodged an application with An Bord Pleanala in August for substitute consent – and this is currently under consideration.

This allows for retrospective applications in exceptional circumstances where there has been no environmental assessment.

In 2003, a massive landslide occurred at Derrybrien, which displaced 450 cubic metres of peat that spilled into waterways 20km away, killing 50 thousand fish.

Photo – Wiki