A fair wind blows as community groups in West Limerick share in €250,000 bonanza

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Pictured at Halla Inse Bán, Templeglantine are the groups and organisations which benefitted from this round of SSE Airtricity Community Grants

Pictured at Halla Inse Bán, Templeglantine are the groups and organisations which benefitted from this round of SSE Airtricity Community Grants

WINDFARMS continue to deliver very welcome funding to schools, sporting organisations and voluntary and community groups throughout West Limerick.

SSE Airtricity, which owns and operates wind turbines in four West Limerick locations and one in North Kerry, shared out over €250,000 to 62 local groups at a well-attended ceremony in Templeglantine last week.

This brings to €1.6m the amount contributed by the company to the area since 2008.

Communities close to Tournafulla, Rathcahill, Dromada and Athea benefited from the lion’s share of the funding, with 48 West Limerick groups in all  successful in their applications, with the remainder in North Kerry.

“SSE Airtricity is really proud to be making a difference in communities across West Limerick and North Kerry,” Anne Reynolds, SSE Airtricity community development officer said. “It’s great to see 62 important and forward-thinking local projects receive funding this year. As always, we’re delighted to see so much of the money going towards improvements in energy efficiency, which is something we always encourage at SSE Airtricity.”

Among those who were presented with a cheque was the Ardagh District Recreational & Sporting Co. Ltd. in Co which is developing a multi-purpose recreational area in the village. The money will be used towards providing  energy-efficient lighting around the new walkway, the new car park area, and ball wall that are underway. Deirdre Ambrose, who is secretary of the organisation, welcomed the funding.

“This funding will have a significant effect on energy use and will reduce costs.  The project will be a community investment and will benefit over 30 sporting groups including the local school.”

The largest single category to share in the €259,826 were the 17 schools among them, Tarbert Comprehensive. The school plans to use the funding for Phase 2 of its window replacement programme. “The contribution from SSE Airtricity will allow us to replace the original, badly designed windows which will aid the overall appearance of the rooms by allowing more natural light in,” Richard Prendiville, principal, said. “These new windows will prevent energy loss and increase overall efficiency while reducing the amount of fossil fuel the school uses.  The school has recently been awarded a green flag and the Green Flag Committee are delighted with this funding as energy efficiency within the school can now be increased with the new windows.”

The total funding increased by €59,000 as Leanamore Windfarm in North Kerry became fully operational. It now generates enough green energy to power over 10,000 homes.

The four SSE Airtricity windfarms in West Limerick have a combined capacity of over 100MV and are capable of powering over 50,000 homes in the region.