Irish rural communities have been opposing wind farms, and pylons before that, for the better part of a decade. This has involved community groups gathering funds through church collections, cake sales, and the like. There are numerous tales of hardship where communities have had to beg, borrow and steal every penny they can get in order to fund a judicial review application. And yet, in November 2016, an elected “representative” in our Dail (the Irish parliament) can ask a question like this:
“I thank Dr. Kelly for her presentation and her staff for coming before the committee. There are a few things I wish to ask. I notice that An Bord Pleanála generally tries to make a decision on an application in 15 or 16 weeks. The one thing that stood out was the number of wind farm applications that were receiving refusals. I know that may be down to the court case and the court judgement, but there certainly seems to be many of them judging by the presentation Dr. Kelly made.
Increasingly, members have residents coming to us and asking about the judicial review process. We all tell them that it is a very costly affair and that they cannot afford to deal with it. That is a big problem. Do we have a rough idea of what a judicial review costs? I know it probably depends and varies, but I would like to get a rough idea. We have had some cases in which people have been requesting it.”
What is even richer is that he asks his equally clueless colleagues rather than getting off his arse and researching the matter himself. Did he even think of leaving his constituency office and approaching the community group?
God help us. ‘Cute hoors’ indeed. Is it any wonder that the voters have lost faith with the system and elect a Trump?