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Anger at refusal of Environment Minister to raise Inter-connector concerns with Southern counterpart

22 January, 2008

Sinn Féin Newry and South Armagh MLA, Cathal Boylan, has said that it is bordering on neglect of duty for the Environment Minister, Arlene Foster, to indicate she will refuse to raise public concerns about the Cavan - Tyrone Electricity Inter-connector with her counterparts on the North-South Ministerial Council.

Mr Boylan said:

'This issue is of real concern to the general public all along the route from Meath, Cavan, Monaghan, Armagh and Tyrone.

"For the Minister to rule out talking to her counterparts from Dublin about the concerns raised is not just incomprehensible it borders on neglect of duty, especially, I am sure, to those people who live in South Tyrone, the Ministers own constituency.

"Arlene Foster claims that she feels the appropriate forum for addressing public concerns is when the planning application is submitted, which she expects to be March of this year. Unfortunately, this comment finds the Minister out of touch with the general public, who want debate and action now.

"People are trying to get NIE and Eirgrid to change their proposals now. Yet, it seems the Minister is of the opinion that a planning application will go forward without the publics concerns being addressed or recognised. This is totally unacceptable. Ministers should be talking to each other, as well as with NIE and Eirgrid, to highlight the concerns of all affected residents, North and South, along the route." ENDS

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