A group opposed to plans for a biogas plant in Gort have published have a transparency statement on its membership and funding management.

The Gort Biogas Concern Group CLG said it had done so to clarify to donors how funding is spent and its “bone fide membership”.

The group opposes plans by Sustainable Bio-Energy Ltd for a biogas plant on a 10.1hectare site in the townlands of Ballynamantan, Kinincha and Glenbrack, Gort.

The group are hoping to seek a judicial review of An Bord Pleanála’s decision to grant planning permission.

The group said €82,000 has been raised in two weeks since the launch of a fundraising campaign and in a statement added, “The company’s sole purpose is to use funding to challenge legally via a judicial review and any legal and expert fees tendered. No other spending outside this remit is permitted”.

In the statement Gort Biogas Concern Group said it would “like to express their gratitude for the amazing generous response to their fundraising appeal, in order to protect Gort and South Galway from a catastrophic biogas development. From far and near people have donated 82.000 euro in less then two weeks after the public meeting on January 4. Contributions continue to grow, giving the group the strength to push onwards”.

The group said that it it wished to clarify to its donors how the funding is managed and to underline bona-fide membership and solid company structure.

According to the statement, “The company Gort Biogas Concern Group CLG was established in 2021 in order to control and clarify the objective of the group. This was important to protect the group’s volunteer members, should the campaign need to move towards a judicial review and further. It was also important to represent the community legitimately and with complete transparency”.

A statement outlining the group’s funding campaign and management was published online on January 16.

It includes the names of directors, accountants and legal and finance teams.

The group said, “Access to accounts is strictly controlled by joint treasurers and company secretary. Our finances are returned annually by our above named company accountant. The company’s sole purpose is to use funding to challenge legally via a judicial review and any legal and expert fees tendered. No other spending outside this remit is permitted. Volunteers do not and cannot claim expenses or personal costs. Our accounts are available for inspection after CRO annual submissions. Receipts are issued only if requested and the company advises donors to keep proof of lodgement or pledge. It is hoped that the above information gives a clear and concise explanation as to how our company insures transparency and control of the most appreciated community and business contributions”.

Meanwhile, the concern group are organising walks to the proposed site of the biogas plant every Sunday afternoon.

The walk, which will include information on the development, leaves Lidl car park at 2pm.

Gort Biogas Concern Group CLG  said it wished to sincerely thank the wider community for their continued financial support for the group’s campaign.

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