Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, has called for an independent mediator to be appointed to liaise between Eirgrid and the public in relation to genuine and serious concerns about overhead pylons.

Deputy Moynihan said all plans for the construction of pylons as part of Eirgrid’s Grid Link project should be suspended while the mediator meets both sides.

“Public meetings have been held from counties Meath to Cork with residents and members of the public raising grave concerns about plans for the construction of overhead pylons as part of Eirgrid’s Grid Link project.

“In light of these representations and concerns over safety, Fianna Fáil is proposing that all planning work should be suspended while a mediator is appointed to liaise between Eirgrid and the public.

“The methodology used by Eirgrid as well their adherence to all the necessary guidelines and legislation has been called into question – these concerns need to be addressed. There is a precedent for this course of action.  In 2004 similar concerns were raised in Cork and an independent mediator was brought in to adjudicate, in the end transmission lines were actually laid underground in a number of areas where pylons were judged unsuitable.

“Residents in various counties have accused Eirgrid of not engaging in proper consultation which seems to have been a reoccurring theme. Until these accusations are investigated and addressed, all construction should be suspended.

“I would hope that Minister Pat Rabbitte will facilitate this common sense proposal and allow residents to have their say on the construction of pylons in their communities.”