Windfarm opponents to run in general election

An anti-windfarm protest group is set to run a purely negative general election campaign against sitting Government TDs in a bid to block them from re-election.
Windfarm opponents to run in general election

The Protect Rural Ireland group is being advised by Bertie Ahern’s former media adviser Paddy Duffy.

Launched yesterday, Mr Duffy insisted his involvement is entirely apolitical.

The organisation was established as an umbrella group earlier this month and represents 20 anti-windfarm groups which have campaigned to block the introduction of the turbines.

The Protect Rural Ireland organisation is solely focused on running a negative political campaign to block six named TDs and ministers, who support windfarms, from re-election.

Organisers Henry Fingleton and Jackie van den Bergh said the campaign, through negative leaflets, will “target” Environment Minister Alan Kelly, Communications Minister Alex White, Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan, Labour TD Emmet Stagg, and Fine Gael TDs Bernard Durkan and Marcella Corcoran Kennedy.

The literature will include calls to “vote out” the Government TDs due to their support for wind turbines, and their failure to examine the less invasive and cheaper option of converting the Moneypoint coal energy station to a sustainable biomass site.

Mr Fingleton said the group is “apolitical” and only sought Mr Duffy’s help as he previously advised a Waterford-based windfarm campaign.

Mr Fingleton said “people can put two and two together and get 25”, stressing that “if Fianna Fáil were in power we would do the same”.

Mr Duffy, who was an adviser to Mr Ahern for 22 years and now runs a PR firm, said he is participating because “they asked me to help out”.

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