The Sinn Féin candidate for the Midlands Northwest European constituency, Matt Carthy, has called for the independent expert panel on pylons to listen to the voice of local residents.
Speaking following the publication of the Terms of Reference of the review of the Grid West and Grid Link projects, Carthy said:
“It is essential that the concerns of communities affected by pylons are addressed by the independent expert panel.
“Under the terms of reference, the independent expert panel will examine the potential environmental impacts, technical efficacy and cost factors in regards to place electric transmission lines overhead or underground.
“However, it is disappointing to learn that in potential impacts of Electro Magnetic Fields will not be taken into consideration by the independent expert panel.
“For the public to have confidence in the outcome of this review, the uncertainties that communities have expressed about the erection of pylons must be addressed.
“The independent expert panel must also look at the long-term impact of the project when examining the cost of undergrounding versus overhead lines.
“The long term economic impact for the state in erecting pylons through a vast corridor of its countryside must be reviewed as this will surely have an impact on an important industry, tourism.
“There are still significant concerns among communities regarding the proposed construction of pylon-supported overhead powerlines across large parts of the country. Residents are worried about the impact these pylons will have on the environment, peoples’ health, farming and the local economy.
“Sinn Féin is calling for an independent cost-benefit analysis on the placing underground of pylon-supported cables to be conducted without delay. We are also calling on the government to direct EirGrid to refrain from submitting planning applications until the government’s inquiry panel has concluded its work.
“I would encourage any member of the public who wishes to make their views known to the expert panel to contact them by email at [email protected].”