Meath Fianna Fáil Senator, Thomas Byrne is confident that the people of North Meath will hold the Fine Gael TD’s in Meath to account about their pledge to halt the construction of over – ground pylons in North Meath as part of the Meath – Tyrone interconnector if Fine Gael were elected to government.
During the General Election, Fine Gael candidates made a number of pledges regarding the Interconnector and the construction of Pylons. Two of the main pledged included:
1. FG will direct EirGrid to halt any further activites on the Meath –Tyrone interconnector until an independent analysis, by appropriate experts, on undergrounding has been performed.
2. FG will deliver on its original commitment to instruct EirGrid to reimburse NEPP for relevant costs associated with participation in the oral hearing process in 2010
‘I on the other hand was very clear and vocal about what I as a member of the Oireachtas could do. During the Public Meeting in Kells earlier this year, I told everybody that I wouldn’t be making commitments that I knew could not be kept’ said Senator Thomas Byrne.
My colleagues in the Dáil have asked the Minister for Communication, Pat Rabbitte about any government plans to halt activities on the Interconnector until an Independent review was carried out. Minister Rabbitte has said there is ‘no requirement within the programme for government that EirGrid should halt all preparatory work.’
‘What this means for residents in Meath is that EirGrid can now proceed to planning and Fine Gael’s promise of halting all activities can be seen for what is – bluster and spin in search of votes. A cynical attempt at duping the people of Meath’
Regarding the issue of reimbursing North East Pylon Pressure, this is a complete non-runner. The Minister completely washed his hands of this matter in the Dáil and said that it was not a matter for Government.
‘Clearly, the FG candidates were willing to say or do anything to win votes in North Meath on this highly important and emotive issue’
‘I do welcome Minister Rabbitte’s commitment to have the international, independent experts appointed as soon as possible. These experts, I have no doubt, will support the case for undergrounding the pylons which is what the people of North Meath and East Cavan want. However, this is nothing new. This will be the second independent report in the space of two years. The previous government commissioned a report by the Tokyo Electric Company, one of the world’s leading electricity companies.
‘Fine Gael, during the General Election, sold us a pup. They lied about their ability to stop the pylons from being constructed and like so many other issues of late, they are flip flopping when pressure is put on them.’