The community in the small village of Cushendun in County Antrim was in shock last night after the tragic death of popular local farmer Robert McIntyre (68).
McIntyre, who had worked the land around his family home for over forty years using traditional and old-fashioned farming methods, had recently fallen on hard times and ill health and had been forced to try more modern farming practices.
“He had heard about these new wind farm things,” explained Paddy McCullough, the local publican, “and seemed to think that they would be the best thing for him to try. I’m not sure he really understood what wind farms actually were, though, because he just kept up his usual old talk about ploughing and harvesting. We never really paid much attention and thought it was just old Bob having a laugh but we should all have probably been a bit more concerned when he told us he was taking the tractor to the airport.”
The exact details of the accident remain unclear but notes found in his home suggest that his intention was to hitch his Massey Fergsuon 135 to the rear of a large passenger jet flying from Belfast International Airport to Edinburgh in an effort to harvest good quality, high altitude wind in the airspace above his land. However, he appears to have become dislodged and tragically plunged to his death.
Andrew Hamilton, chief investigator in the tragedy, has described Mr. McIntyre’s actions as “reckless and foolhardy in the extreme.” “Trying to harvest wind over his own land was madness,” he said. “Every fool knows you can harvest much higher quality wind on the Dublin to London flight path.”