‘Windfarm has ruined my family’s life’



Yet another distressed family has come forward to describe how a wind farm in Co. Wicklow has ‘ruined’ their lives.


Richard Hobson and his partner have two special needs children who are sensitive to noise and light. The family moved to County Wicklow for the ‘space and tranquility’ it offered and so that the children could be play outside in peaceful surroundings, as is a child’s right.


Due to the noise of the newly constructed wind turbines at Ballycumber Wind Farm the children can no longer play outside.

Elaine says:

“But after being out there for a while and being exposed to the noise, between 30 and 45 decibels, they get very stressed and upset. A lot of the time now I bring them elsewhere to play. It breaks my heart as we moved here to have space. We used to live in a housing estate in the city but it was too busy and dangerous. We thought we would have the space and tranquillity of the countryside here.”

See the full story: Wicklow Times and National Wind Watch.


Governments are elected by the People to serve the People, but the scale and extent of wind farm development in this country exposes our rulers as self-serving autocrats. One of the most fundamental constitutional and human rights is for a citizen and his/her family to be allowed “undisturbed possession” of their home. How is it then that wind farm developments are allowed to drive citizens and their families from their homes with the endorsement and financial assistance from those in power?


The continuous inaction on planning guidelines is another indicator of who actually rules this country. We should have statutory Regulations in place to control wind farm development, but instead we are still waiting for mere guidelines!

This crime against the People cannot be laid at the feet of one political party or one government. At the moment all political parties support the development of wind energy in Ireland despite the overwhelming evidence that they do not work, and cause more environmental harm than good. The exception to this might be Renua, but even they need to be more forthright in their denouncement of the subsidy scam .

We are still waiting for a cost-benefit analysis of the massive €1.2 billion spend per annum  that is paid by the taxpayer to achieve a CO2 emissions saving that is so negligible it barely raises a blip on the scale. And that is the official figure that they admit to spending. God knows what monies are passing hands under the table.


The bank crash and subsequent bailout proved who actually ruled this country, and with the wind farms and subsidy scam, it is simply a matter of “here we go again”.

Wake up Ireland. Somebody’s arse needs to be soundly kicked.


About Neil van Dokkum

Neil van Dokkum (B. SocSc; LLB; LLM; PGC Con.Lit) Neil is a law lecturer and has been so since arriving in Ireland from South Africa in 2002. Prior to that Neil worked in a leading firm of solicitors from 1987-1992, before being admitted as an Advocate of the Supreme Court of South Africa (a barrister) in 1992. He published three books in South Africa on employment law and unfair dismissal, as well as being published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed journals. Neil currently specialises in employment law, medical negligence law, family law and child protection law. He dabbles in EU law (procurement and energy). Neil retired from full-time practice in 2002 to take up a lecturing post. He has published three books since then, “Nursing Law for Irish Students (2005); “Evidence” (2007); and “Nursing Law for Students in Ireland” (2011). His current interest is the area of disability as a politico-economic construct. Neil is very happily married to Fiona, and they have two sons, Rory and Ian.
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7 Responses to ‘Windfarm has ruined my family’s life’

  1. Puzzled Electron says:

    Well said – a wakeup call indeed to all of us who pay higher and higher electricity charges to support the REFIT scam, and particularly to everybody who lives or loves the wild and unspoiled Irish countryside. Who is ever going to pay the enormous (and unprovided for) cost of dismantling what will be rusting and dangerous steel and fibreglass structures at their end of life? This is not the first time, and certainly won’t be the last, that political consensus orthodoxy leads to a disastrous outcome.

  2. Pingback: ‘Windfarm has ruined my family’s life’ | ajmarciniak

  3. Nigel de Haas says:

    The Independent today reminds us that Derrybrien wind farm in Galway sure ruined lots of people’s lives. Its construction required the removal of large areas of forest and the extraction of peat up to 5.5 metres deep from the top of Cashlaundrumlahan Mountain, causing a devastating landslide in October 2003. The landslide destroyed the ecology of a 20km section of a nearby river system, killing around 50,000 fish.

    The EU Court of Justice ruled in 2008 that an EIS must be carried out for the 70 turbine wind farm, but as you might imagine, we have failed to carry out that basic task in the intervening nine years. So, the European Commission is now taking Ireland back to the Court of Justice for the EU over the State’s failure to comply with that court ruling, looking at a fine of €1.685m along with a possible daily penalty of over €12,000 if full compliance is not achieved by the date of the ruling.

    We hear plenty about the penalties we will incur if we don’t meet our 2020 targets – well how about a fine of €1.5 million with an extra €400k for every month that we continue to avoid the issue? Is this the kind of efficiency and environmental care that you expect from the Department of the Environment?


    This kick in the arse, dear friends, is the inevitable outcome of you and me and all of our neighbours remaining quiet. It does not have to be this way. Our TDs and Councillors are only where they are on the back of the popular vote. The choice of whether to act or remain quiet is entirely yours. And it doesn’t cost a cent – until it comes to a place real close to where you live.

    Engineers Ireland has just published a report on a study carried out on wind turbine ILFN by Dr Alves-Pereira. It puts to bed any lingering doubts we may have had about the impact of wind turbines on people’s lives. Read the report at:


    The evidence is there. Wind farms have ruined people’s lives, and the chances are you are not immune.

  4. Puzzled Electron says:

    IWEA says that 84% of Irish people favour wind energy.

    84% of adults in Ireland are in favour of wind power in Ireland according to a survey carried out by Interactions in October 2017, in which 47% of Irish adults polled said they were are strongly in favour of wind power in Ireland while a further 38% favour it.

    The survey showed that 45% of people surveyed would be in favour of a wind farm development in their area and 25% said they were likely to consider visiting a wind farm in the future. Of those surveyed 75% selected good for the environment and reduced CO2 emissions while 66% cited cheaper electricity.

    According to the IWEA, there are 200 operational wind farms in Ireland which regularly power 60% of national demand and it believes that the increased use of renewable energy will continue to off-set harmful emissions from fossil fuels such as CO2.


    The IWEA are on-message with their narrative.

    • Neil van Dokkum says:

      Thank you for your comment, Puzzled Electron. Unfortunately, public opinion polls are notoriously unreliable as they are so easy to manipulate. Can you give me more details of this IWEA poll? For example, how many people were interviewed and what percentage of these were rural residents?

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