Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan TD, says the insensitive and ill-timed comments from Minister Pat Rabbitte in media today highlight the dismissive nature of the Government towards legitimate concerns about the environmental impact and safety of electricity pylons.

Deputy Moynihan said Minister Rabbitte has again shown just how out of touch this Government has become.

“The approach from Minister Rabbitte and the Government to concerns over the suitability of constructing electricity pylons throughout the country is symptomatic of just how out of touch it has become.

“The language from Minister Rabbitte this morning on national radio where he said the plans should not be changed at “the whim of some passing fashion” highlights the dismissive nature the Government has towards any dissent or opposition.

“The language used was unacceptable; people have genuine concerns and the Minster fails to realise just how serious this issue is to many communities on the East and West coasts.

“Labour Party Cllrs and MEPs claim locally to have concerns about these plans.  Is Minister Rabbitte the only person telling the truth about Labour Party policy? 

“Ireland’s electricity infrastructure and transmission capability must be modernised and upgraded but it must be done in a way that is sensitive to genuine community concerns and in a way that is sustainable.  Dismissing and ridiculing those who have a different opinion, as the Government seems determined to do, is neither sensitive or sustainable. 

“I have previously called in the Dáil for an independent international assessment to be carried out so all the concerns that have been raised can be addressed and some clarity can be given to local communities.”