Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Communications Minister to halt all procurement related activities in relation to the proposed North-South Interconnector pending the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal here and a Court of Appeal decision in Northern Ireland.

Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “I am at a loss to understand how Minister Denis Naughten can allow the procurement works to continue while the matter is still before the courts.  The Supreme Court in Dublin and the Court of Appeal in Belfast have yet to deliver judgements on the cases before them, and I believe that until those decisions have been reached, no procurement related activities should be carried out.

“We are also still waiting for the Minister to publish the two independent reports, which examined the cost of undergrounding the project, and which were commissioned after two Fianna Fáil motions were passed in the Dáil and Seanad.

“It is clear that this Government is not willing to listen to the concerns of local communities in Cavan, Monaghan and Meath.  Fianna Fáil fully supports the undergrounding of the interconnector – it is the only safe and secure option.  Costs have fallen significantly over the past decade and there is no valid reason why Fine Gael is continuing to press forward with the pylon option”, concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.