Fianna Fáil has demanded that the Government commit to including the North-South Interconnector in a new review of EirGrid’s pylon plans

Raising the matter on Leaders Questions in the Dáil today, the Fianna Fáil Jobs Spokesperson Dara Calleary said there is major confusion surrounding the new review panel and why the North East has been left out entirely.

Speaking afterwards, Deputy Calleary commented, “The Taoiseach’s disgraceful response to my questions provides further evidence that this review is nothing more than a political stunt. If the Government really was interested in a full review of EirGrid’s plans in the public interest, the review panel would include a health expert, the feasibility study would be independent, and the North East region would be included.

“The Government has spent the last few months dismissing the concerns of communities affected by EirGrid’s Grid25 proposals. The Minister for Energy Pat Rabbitte described public concerns as ‘nothing more than a passing fancy’. The Taoiseach also made an outrageous link to emigration, in what could only be seen as an attempt to bully people into supporting the pylon plans. And now in a last ditch effort to save their own skins in the upcoming local elections, Fine Gael and Labour have announced a ‘review’ that falls far short of the mark and completely ignores the North East region.

“Despite the claims of some Government backbenchers, the CEO of EirGrid Fintan Slye has been very clear that he is not aware of a conversation between the Taoiseach and Government Deputies on the North-South interconnector project. He also said that work on the on the project is already under way and that planning permission will be applied for in the coming weeks, indicating that there was never any intention to include it in the review.

“This expert panel and review was established by the Government and it’s within the Government’s gift to ensure that it is a fair and thorough process. I am calling on the Government to immediately include the North East in this process, to appoint a health expert to the panel and to ensure that the feasibility study on moving the power lines underground is carried out independently.”