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Siblings receive €225,000 in settlement from nearby wind farm owners
Coleman Legal LLP
Feb 28, 2020

Siblings Laura, David, and Jack Kelleher received a settlement of €225,000 for their High Court damages claim. They claimed their family was forced to leave their residence at Gowlane North, Donoughmore, Cork in 2016 due to illnesses caused from an adjacent wind farm.

The lawsuit arose after the siblings had claimed noise, vibrations and flickering shadows from the nearby wind turbines caused them suffering from various illnesses. These included earaches, headaches, nosebleeds, painful swollen hands, skin rashes, sleep disruption, and weakened limbs. They claim it started months after the ten-turbine wind farm began operating seven hundred metres from the family farm. Their father, Valentine Kelleher, sued Green Energy Supply Ltd who owns and operates the newly constructed Knockduff Wind Farm in Cork.

The family said their health issues began in May 2016 which prompted the family to move out of their residence in November that same year. They stayed in a hotel after moving from the farm, eventually relocating to a property located eight miles away at Ballyglass, Grenagh, Co Cork. The family said their illnesses vanished after moving away, however, returned whenever they found themselves at the family farm.

The Kelleher family sued for damages for apparent nuisance and personal injury after claiming it was a result of the defendant’s negligence and insufficient precautions to prevent noise, vibration and the shadow flicker caused by the wind farm. They alleged the owners operated the farm in a way that disrespected their constitutional family, personal, and property rights.

The defendants refuted all claims concerning negligence and illnesses caused. They also contested claims that the noise, vibration, and shadow flicker from the wind farm encroached on the family’s farm and that the Kellehers’ rights had not been infringed on.

On Tuesday, Leonie Reynolds, who dealt with the case, was informed that the Kelleher family was offered a settlement that was mediated by retired Judge, Paul Gilligan. The judge advocated that the offer be court-approved, especially given that the medical evidence was fervently disputed, and stated that the offer was “good.”

Counsel stated the settlements, made without admission of liability, would grant Laura (15), who had more severe ailments compared to the other siblings, €125,000 for damages while the other siblings David (17) and Jack (10) are both to receive €50,000. Counsel closed saying that claims pertaining to other members of the Kelleher family for claimed nuisance would be resolved and adjourned to March.

Keith Rolls Partner Coleman Legal LLP

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