Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, has called on the Government to support Fianna Fáil’s proposal for an independent international assessment of Eirgrid’s proposals for the construction of overhead pylons as part of their Grid 25 project.
This week, the Dáil will debate a Fianna Fáil Private Members’ Motion (PMB) calling for an independent assessment of the plans to take place so costings can be provided for placing the power lines underground and also for the health and safety concerns of the public to be addressed
Deputy Moynihan commented: “I think everyone would be in agreement with the fact that we need to update our electricity infrastructure throughout the country. For Ireland to remain competitive as a location for jobs investment and creation, we need to have a modern and effective electricity network.
“Last week, we heard of concerns raised by Fáilte Ireland about the erection of overhead pylons and the possible impact on tourism, especially in places like the Comeragh Mountains in Waterford.
“Many of the residents’ groups that have raised concerns about the impact of overhead pylons say there has been a lack of consultation by Eirgrid, issues have also been raised about the health and safety impact of having high voltage power lines so close to people’s homes.
“Fianna Fáil is calling for an independent international assessment to be carried out so these concerns can be addressed. This assessment should also include costings for the possibility of putting some or all of the power lines underground.
“There have been conflicting figures put out regarding the possible costs of putting the power lines underground, an independent assessment could once and for all clarify this.
“The Government this week has a chance to back Fianna Fáil’s proposals for an independent assessment. We have already heard claims of discomfort from individual Government backbenchers about the overhead pylons; our proposal gives these representatives to the chance to support a practical measure which will provide much needed clarity on this contentious issue and a clear and sustainable path forward.”