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Eirgrid interconnector could be underground: Reilly

25 January, 2012

Speaking today in a Seanad debate on the Review by the International Expert Commission on the North-South Interconnector, Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly said:
“At often huge personal cost, financial and otherwise, community representatives have challenged and matched the unlimited resources of the state's apparatus in their journey to get these cables undergrounded.
“The lack of a definitive recommendation as to whether the electricity cable should go above or below ground leaves wide open the avenue for the Minister to instruct Eirgrid to underground these cables.
“Indeed, unlike Eirgrid who have vehemently opposed the undergrounding of the interconnector, the key finding must be that the expert commission found that undergrounding the inter-connector is a ‘realistic solution’.
“Not that it was impossible. Nor that it would cost 20 times the cost of overgrounding. This endorses what we in Sinn Féin and the campaigning communities have consistently stated and it flies in the face of EirGrid assertions.
“EirGrid need to now accept that undergrounding these cables is viable.”
The Sinn Féin senator questioned the minister on the next steps in relation to the Interconnector, with particular reference to the Memorandum on Security of Energy Supply he intends to produce:
“Will this memorandum be enforced by the Minister or will it simply be an advisory note, to which Eirgrid and the planning process can choose themselves whether to have regard?
“If EirGrid had their way there would not have been a report. If EirGrid had their way we would have massive pylons erected already. If EirGrid had their way the people of this State would still be fed the story that undergrounding was not possible or feasible.
“EirGrid should not be allowed plough ahead with their plans, especially when they have been shown to be wrong on the issue of undergrounding.”

Senator Kathryn Reilly
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2

Tel: 01 618 3171
Email: [email protected]

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