“It is fundamentally unfair and discriminatory to exclude EirGrid’s proposed North-South electricity interconnector from the terms of reference of the Independent Pylons Review Panel chaired by retired Supreme Court Justice Catherine McGuinness”, Fianna Fáil European candidate, Senator Thomas Byrne, has said.
“We cannot have a situation where the use of pylons for the Grid Link and West Link projects is being reviewed but the Government has excluded a review of exactly the same type of pylons proposed for the North East. Is Minister Rabbitte claiming that the men, women and children of the North East are less susceptible to the health dangers posed by electromagnetic radiation (EMF)?
“Along with Fianna Fail parliamentary party colleagues, I met with a delegation from the Northeast Pylons Pressure Campaign to get an update on their campaign. I shared with them my extreme concern about the discriminatory setup of Ms Justice McGuinness’ Review Panel and I am currently researching and developing an initiative that I believe will force the Minister to act appropriately.
“There are worrying and potentially fatal health issues associated with ultra high voltage overhead power lines. Despite serious concerns, for example, about an increased incidence of childhood leukaemia linked to electromagnetic fields, the Government are still adamant about going ahead with overhead lines.
“Ultimately, European Union imposed targets drive most of our energy policy and the proposed ultra high voltage links are part of a wider European energy policy. The EU Commission has set out strict environmental and consultation procedures that these projects must meet. The problem in Ireland is that the Government are ramming them through but they are not complying with the other EU requirements. If I am elected as an MEP, my priority will be to work towards a fundamental revamp of existing EU energy policy and to make sure the EU institutions make the Government comply fully with EU laws on the environment and public consultation.