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Donegal: Peat landslide linked to wind farm raised in Dáil

November 18, 2020

By Paul Homewood


h/t John Smyth


So much for that wonderful “Green Energy”!



The river flows into the Foyle catchment which has EU protection as an important salmon habitat.

Work on the wind farm development has been suspended and several agencies on both sides of the border are investigating how it happened.

Donegal independent TD Thomas Pringle raised the incident in the Dail and said concerns about the wind farm had been well flagged by environmentalists.

He said pictures of the collapse made for "stark viewing".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said he was aware of the case and wanted to progress guidelines on future wind farm development.

The Irish Environmental Protection Agency, a statutory body, said there would be another meeting in the coming days involving all those investigating, to co-ordinate any further necessary response.

The Ulster Angling Federation (UAF) has warned the river may struggle to recover fully from the landslide, which a spokesman labelled one of the largest pollution events in the history of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

He said anglers were devastated and were expecting a complete fish kill in the Mourne Beg.

The company building the wind farm, Invis Energy, said they were working with the authorities and there was no risk to public health on the day of the landslide.

Authorities on both sides of the Irish border have moved to assure the public there is no risk to drinking water quality.

However, NI Water temporarily suspended drinking water supplies connected to the river as a precaution.


This no doubt is an uncommon occurrence. But it is symptomatic of peat degradation in the vast majority of upland wind farm constructions, so typical in Scotland particularly.

This report has somehow escaped through the net of the BBC’s environmental editorial censorship. But I will be very surprised if the BBC’s “Environmental Analyst”, Mr Harrabin will get round to reporting it!

  1. November 18, 2020 10:44 pm

    Crook Hill wind farm here in North Manchester suffered a large amount of peat damage which local farmers are convinced contributed to severe flooding. There was also a spate of cattle deaths due to arsenic poisoning which was likely caused by the access road cutting through an old industrial waste dump causing leeching into the local stream. Rossendale Council which approved it washed their hands of it completely. Councils are desperate for the rates so it’s very unlikely this problem will ever be properly addressed.

  2. John Smyth permalink
    November 18, 2020 11:31 pm

    When flying over Ireland on a clear day you can see just how plastered in wind farms it is already, with worse to come of course. With Ireland having so so many highly sensitive sensitive eco-systems I fear this will not be the last such disaster.

    I feel that it’s particularly ironic that Ireland, criticised for so long for burning its peat bogs on an industrial scale to generate electricity, is now at risk of destroying them with “green” energy installations. I’m old enough to remember the late David Bellamy’s campaign to try to stop Ireland completely destroying The Bog of Allen (which sadly is still ongoing).

    Ireland has in my view an especially long and bad record of failing to protect its natural heritage in the face of pressure for economic development within a system where the whiff of corruption seems never far away.

    Being Irish I’m very angry indeed about this and have had to count to 100 ten times over before writing a comment.

  3. Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
    November 19, 2020 12:29 am

    I’ll guess the surface disturbance destroyed root systems in the layer beneath, then wetting of the clay/silt underneath that allowed the peat to slip off.
    The Google Earth view shows large circles where (it appears) smallish trees were growing. A full report would be interesting, but year-later reports are not widely available.

  4. Duker permalink
    November 19, 2020 5:47 am

    Harrabin will be onto this in a flash , blaming high rainfall – which can happen- but doing his dance around the fire of climate extremes

  5. November 19, 2020 8:34 am

    This video shows the landslip as it occurred. Huge trees being carries along:

  6. William Birch permalink
    November 19, 2020 9:34 am

    wow. the devastation looks more like a mud flow than a landslip. it needs to be shared more so that others can see the total recklessness of these wind farm developers

  7. Ben Vorlich permalink
    November 19, 2020 11:26 am

    Way back in the 1960s and 70s when estates in Scotland were creating access roads into the more remote parts of their estates for use by shooting parties (where I was living at the time) I can remember there being talk by environmental lobbies about erosion of exposed peat. To be frank this did happen but the situation returned to normality after a few years. Normal meaning that from time to time and for various reasons there’d be small sections of erosion, again these would stabilise after a few years.

    I can’t understand why these same groups would think that developing a wind farm on a peat bog with all its access roads and infrastrudture wouldn’t be problematic.

  8. November 19, 2020 12:43 pm

    Derrybrien was the famous landslide back in 2003 and the state has finally been fined . Meanwhile windfarms continue to be built on deep peat in Caithness where the Flow Country is awaiting designation as a World Heritage Site, although I’m told even this will not stop windfarms being built. Meanwhile we are warning the Shetland group where huge windfarms will cause similar problems . Not that our governments will take any notice.

  9. Keith S permalink
    November 19, 2020 2:00 pm

    Seems that saving the planet is only destroying more of it. When are our biased media and timid leaders going to wake up to just what is going on around us. There is only a tiny minority who think their way but the problem is they all gravitate to the same ‘professions’ media or politics leaving the sane ones to manage the mess afterwards. How have we got ourselves into a situation where the masses tolerate this utter stupidity.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 21, 2020 6:47 pm

    Another piece on the same:-

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