Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has saidyesterday’s announcement of a review of Eirgrid’s pylons plan is a pre-election stunt.
Mr Adams also criticised the fact that potential health implications of over-ground pylons appeared to be excluded from the review and that there was no health expert on the panel.
Speaking in the Dail during Leaders’ Questions Gerry Adams said the Taoiseach and Pat Rabbitte were dismissive and flippant in their approach to the pylons issue and that until yesterday both were was defending Eirgrid’s plans. He said the Taoiseach’s linking of the pylons issue to emigration was particularly crass and insensitive.
Sinn Fein has said from the outset that the government should direct Eirgrid to proceed with the proposed project only on the basis that they will be undergrounded.
“Yesterday’s announcement of a review is clearly timed to coincide with the upcoming Local and European elections and to push this issue back beyond May. Many people will understandably view this as a pre-election stunt”, Mr Adams said.
Pointing to the confusion as to whether the North-South Interconnector was subject to the review and the conflicting comments of Fine Gael TD Sean Conlon TD that he had a personal commitment from the Taoiseach to extend the remit of the panel, and those of Eirgrid’s CEO Finatan Slye who was not aware of this.
He asked the Taoiseach whether the potential health implications of over-ground pylons were excluded from the review and why is there no health expert on the panel.
The Sinn Féin Leader criticised the fact that such an important issue had not been brought before the Dail.
Mr Adams also questioned the panel’s capacity to act completely independently when it is overseeing an analysis conducted by EirGrid who are on the record as dismissing undergrounding as a viable option.
He said is a cost/benefit analysis of the various options was urgently needed and said Eirgrid’s entire Gridlink project need to be put fully on hold until the outcome of independent panel’s report.