Assembly to be told of Inter-connector concerns
Sinn Féin Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan speaking before an Assembly debate about the proposed North/South Electricity Inter-connector route has said that there must be a realisation amongst all concerned that it is imperative that the well being of people and communities "not just at a physical but also at mental and community level" is a guiding principal on the model of development agreed.
Mr Boylan said:
"Elected representatives have a moral and civic duty to ensure that the thousands of people, ordinary rational members of communities from Cavan, to Monaghan, to Armagh to Tyrone whose lives are now in turmoil because of this proposal as it stands, have their voice heard and their concerns addressed.
"This has never been about scaremongering. What we are now experiencing is a reaction of communities whose fears have from the very outset been ignored."
Cathal Boylan said that he had been contacted by residents from all traditions, expressing their deep concern at the proposals for the Inter-connector. He added:
"There is a significant opposition to the present proposal as outlined, and steamrolling the planning application through is not the way forward. While the development of the all-Ireland energy market has the potential to deliver real gains and is important in the eradication fuel poverty and ensuring security of supply on the island of Ireland, the proposed Inter-connector route as it stands impacts on a huge number of individuals and communities.
"Questions about Health and Environmental impacts and the feasibility of putting cable underground need to be properly examined. In all our meetings with senior NIE officials Sinn Féin have highlighted these major concerns and we have made it clear to NIE that a full, inclusive and informed consultation process is essential. The concerns and fears of local residents and communities cannot be ignored." ENDS