Anti-pylon campaigners meet Sinn Féin TDs in Leinster House
Representatives from NEPP and the Co. Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee met with Sinn Féin Party President Gerry Adams TD, Peadar Tóibín TD, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD, and Cllr Darren O’ Rourke on Wednesday, 31st January.
The NEPPC Spokesperson Pádraig O’ Reilly and Co. Monaghan Anti – Pylon Committee’s Nigel Hillis made a cogent presentation to Deputy Adams and his colleagues.
Both speakers were complimentary of the decade long commitment of the Sinn Féin party to the core demand of the campaigning communities to have the North South Interconnector proceed by underground cabling only.
Several initiatives taken by the Sinn Féin team from across the five Counties affected by Eirgrid’s proposed overhead pylon supported cable approach came in for deserved mention, including the Matt Carthy MEP organised visit last September to Brussels for meetings with both Elia, Eirgrid’s Belgian counterparts, and representatives of the EU Commission.
Both Mr. O’ Reilly and Mr. Hillis raised areas and further actions that the Sinn Féin party could explore and undertake, including through its political engagement with those parties returned to the Northern Assembly. Gerry Adams stated that he had discussed it with members of the party’s northern negotiations.
Peadar Tóibín TD stated this decision is now firmly in the hands of the government.
Deputy Tóibín said:
“No more distractions should be allowed. We now need to reconstitute the All Party Dáil Group on the North-South Interconnector to work together to force a government decision or pass a bill ensuring its undergrounded.
“My fear is if the government pigheadedly ignore the community that we will see Eirgrid seek to force their way onto peoples’ land. Given that the people along the line of the proposed interconnector are decent law abiding people it would be a travesty for the government to disregard their rights in such a manner.”
Other members of the Sinn Fein delegation at the meeting included Cllr. Paddy Mc Donald (Chairperson Cavan County Council) and Cllr. Cathy Bennett (Chairperson Monaghan County Council)
Speaking after the meeting to The Anglo Celt, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD stated that the meeting was “most worthwhile” and was an opportunity for the campaigning groups to hear first-hand from President Adams on the issue of the Interconnector.
He was glad to note that Deputy Adams undertook to ensure that his soon to be successor Deputy Mary Lou Mc Donald was across the issue and was fully briefed on the party’s long standing policy and campaigning in support of the communities’ demands.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said:
“I would like to pay tribute to both the Co. Monaghan Anti – Pylon Committee and to NEPPC for their tenacity and stoic leadership on this issue. We in Sinn Féin have and will continue to not only work with the community groups but with all supportive political opinion towards our shared objective of having this project proceed only by underground cabling.
"I am grateful to our outgoing Party President Gerry Adams TD who traveled from the talk in the north to join us today and to all my party colleagues who attended this worthwhile meeting.”