Anti-biogas plant campaign in Ireland raises €50,000

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A campaign aimed at mounting a legal challenge to plans to develop a large scale biogas plant near Gort has so far raised €50,000, reported Clare Echo. The fundraising campaign was launched in response to An Bord Pleanála’s decision in December 2022 to grant conditional permission for the biogas plant after Galway County Council refused the application.
Following a public meeting that was overshadowed by a local farmer throwing bags of cow excrement at local TDs, donations have been racking up from South Galway and around Ireland.
The Gort Biogas Concern Group opposes Sustainable Bioenergy Ltd's plans to construct a b iogas plant on a 10.1 hectare site in the townlands of Ballynamantan, Kinincha and Glenbrack, Gort in Galway, Ireland.
According to Clare Echo, Ciaran O’Donnell, spokesperson for the group, said that while the incident took the focus off from the meeting, support for the campaign has intensified.
“It did take the focus of the purpose of the campaign for a while. But there is a lot of genuine frustration and genuine concern in Gort about this issue and everyone has their own way of dealing with it. It’s not right, what happened, it’s the not the ethos of how we want this campaign to operate. This gentleman probably felt genuinely frustrated because he was not being listened to. It did detract a bit from our message which is that no one wants this plant”, Ciaran told the publication.
He added: “Things have taken at an exponential rate since last the meeting last week. It’s just goes to show how much this issue means to the people of Gort and South Galway as a whole. The response has been amazing. We have had contributions from all over Ireland. All sorts of people and businesses have supported  it. I was looking at the fundraising page and one of the contributions was €5 from a third class student in national school. In total its up to €50,000. We had raised €40,000 within the first four hours and its continued to rise since then. We’re going to carry on and there are other fundraising initiatives planned. We’re hoping to have a big concert on February 11 and there are a number of performers lined up for that”.
Gort Biogas Concern Group intends to procure a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision. Opponents say the development would have an adverse effect on Gort and the environment.
“In terms of biogas plants elsewhere in Europe and globally, they are often small and positioned where they are needed. What is being proposed here is a large scale, industrial sized plant near a town. All of the waste will have to be transported by road to the plant so very quickly, the environmental credentials are lowered. This plant would be 900 metres from the town square and will have a total footprint the size of Kinvara”, O’Donnell tolf Clare Echo.
He continued: “There are a lot of positive developments in Gort. There is the town development plan which is going to be a big benefit to the town. You talk to businesses and they will tell you that footfall around Gort is up because of the river walk. People want to come to Gort, to visit, to live here and work here. We don’t want to be known as the place with the funny smell. If this plant goes ahead, it will cut all this progress off at the route”.

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