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  Cape Clear Wind Generators

We enclose a link to the recent article in the Souther Star as well as relevant comments by Séamus Ó Drisceoil who is quoted in the article.

Various Islanders were very surprised by the recent article in the Southern Star article “Author Purcell stands by claims of Cape Clear generator interference’ in which two former Co Op Managers are quoted on a number of occasions.

While the quotes are correct, the tone and indeed the title of the article leave one very confused. Readers of the blog might surmise that the comments made related to the inner workings of RTE which would be most presumptuous. Rather instead the  comments related solely to the Cape Clear Wind Energy System and given that both managers  lived on the Island and were professionally involved in these matters they are competent to make them.

They and others have simply stated that Ms Purcell’s claims in her book ‘Inside RTE, A Memoir’ that former Taoiseach Charles Haughey had somehow persuaded the ESB to take the wind generator from Cape Clear and install it at his holiday island of Inishvickillane and that – Cape Clear was left with a generator that local people said gave only sporadic service are untrue.

The two wind turbines referred to were placed on top of the highest hill on the Island, Cnoc  Caraintín, 512 feet above sea level, embedded in concrete bases of 40 tons each and far from having been moved  the structures are still standing and can be seen from the mainland.

The ESB at all times maintained 3 generators on the Island, each one alone capable of supplying the entire Island’s needs. For the period of the integrated wind/diesel/battery system there was actually a fourth generator which could be controlled by the computerized system. The ESB generators remain on the Island to this day.

The reason for the fourth generator was because the wind/diesel/battery system was never the property of the ESB, the power was simply sold to the ESB by various third parties including the Comharchumann. So in fact the ‘wind generator’ never belonged to the ESB and could therefore not have been removed by them for the benefit of Charles Haughey.

Ms Prucell’s contention that her version of events must be correct because RTE would not have agreed to hire a helicopter unless she could authenticate the story is very amusing. It brings to mind the unfortunate Pope Urban VIII’s assertion backed by virtually all the ‘establishment’ astronomers and scientists of his day that Galileo was wrong when he asserted that earth moved around the sun. As we now know all of those learned men’s most strenuous efforts could not change what was a simple fact and so too,  RTE. No amount of ‘authentication’ in Montrose can shift a wind generator on Cape Clear Island.

Readers of the blog will know that Oileán Chléire is a warm and hospitable place. We welcome anyone with any residual doubts to visit the Island and see for themselves and would most especially assure Ms Prucell of a ‘céad míle fáilte’ should she wish to come in order to dispel any remaining misgivings on the matter.


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