Fight continues to protect Knockroe

Fight continues to protect Knockroe

The fight continues to protect the ancient Knockroe Passage Tombs from the shadow of wind turbines on the hill across the county border.

Planning Permission was refused by Tipperary County Council for the eight turbines, but will now go before An Bord Pleanala. A decision will not be made until January of next year, but the closing date for people to make their observations was October 3.

Locals fear that the turbines, should they be constructed, will not only detract hugely from the beautiful views, but that they could block the solstice greeted each year by the 5,000-year-old structure.

Minister for Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Heather Humphreys visited the historic site in Kilkenny earlier in the month, invited by local TD John Paul and chairman of the Caiseal Conservation Committee Richard Walsh.

Waiting to greet the Minister on her arrival was a large crowd, headed by Professor Muiris O' Suilleabhain — who carried out the archaeological dig at Knockroe — Chief Executive of Kilkenny County Council Colette Byrne, Chairman of Kilkenny County Council Matt Doran and Councillors Pat Dunphy, Tomas Breathnach, Fidelis Doherty and Malcolm Noonan.

Mr Walsh addressed the issues facing the Passage Tomb into the future: the need for road signage, improvements to the access road, and the threat posed to the site from the planned wind turbine development.

He thanked the OPW for the care they take of the site and mentioned especially Kilkenny County Council and the OPW for their plans to improve the road surface.

Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council Matt Doran welcomed the minister, and Professor O' Suilleabhain briefly outlined the history and importance of the site.

Mentioning that her Department were involved in opposing the planned wind turbines in the initial planning application, Minister Humphreys pledged her support to the future of the passage tombs.

To round off a perfect evening, Minister Heather Humphreys was presented with a framed photograph of the tomb taken by Local Photographer Lena Power, before going for tea at the home of Pat and Eileen Power.