Fianna Fáil TD Niamh Smyth says the Government must move to set up an independent review into the feasibility and cost of undergrounding of the North-South interconnector.  The current proposal wants to see overhead power lines constructed in Cavan, Monaghan and Meath, as well as Tyrone and Armagh, but communities in these areas have expressed serious concerns about the pylon project.

A Fianna Fáil motion calling for an independent expert analysis to examine the technical feasibility and cost of the undergrounding of the North South interconnector was passed in the Dáil today (16th February).

Deputy Smyth commented, “This project, which was first mooted a decade ago, has been met with resistance by communities along the Border, concerned about possible health and environmental implications of the overhead power lines.  They are also worried about the consultation process, as many residents claim that Eirgrid have not, and are continuing to refuse to engage properly with them.

“Earlier this month, I along with members of the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party, met with a number of action groups to discuss their concerns, and on foot of that meeting, put down a Dáil motion.

“Eirgrid has flipflopped repeatedly on whether it is economically and technologically feasible to underground these pylons, and those involved in the Grid Link projects. Their inconsistency and overall unwillingness to engage, is central to why the people of Cavan, Monaghan and Meath have serious concerns.  An independent expert analysis is needed to ascertain the true cost and implications of placing the North-South interconnector underground, taking the latest advances in technology, and similar projects abroad, into account.

“The Government must now recognise the will of the Dáil in the passing of this motion and ensure that an independent analysis is commissioned without delay”.