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Sinn Féin submits proposals on Southeast and East Grid Link project to EirGrid

21 November, 2013

Sinn Féin has submitted its set of proposals on the Southeast and East Grid Link project to EirGrid. The party submission was handed-in at the EirGrid offices in Ballsbridge, Dublin this afternoon by a contingent of Sinn Fein Oireachtas members which included Brian Stanley TD, Michael Colreavy TD, Sandra McLellan TD and Senator David Cullinane.

Speaking after submitting the document, Senator Cullinane said: “Sinn Féin has no objection in principle to the new Grid Link Project for the Southeast and East and the necessary enhancement of supply and expansion of the electricity grid in the regions.

“However, Sinn Féin cannot support EirGrid’s determination to use over-ground pylons and wires for the entire length of these routes and to rule out the underground option. The party will also seek meetings with EirGrid representatives, including its chief executive, and discuss with them our concerns in some considerable detail.

“The project will involve identifying a number of 1km wide route corridor options for a new 400kV overhead power line linking Leinster and Munster.

“The government and EirGrid must listen to the concerns of communities regarding this project and also listen to the very real and sustainable alternatives to overheard power lines.

“Underground cables, at installation, may cost more than overheard but the fact is that they are more economical in the longer-term. They are low maintenance, have lower transmission losses, have a longer lifespan, and have no environmental impact. This would suggest that the initial outlay will be off-set over time by the many advantages

“An international expert commission, employed by the government, found that the undergrounding of cables is a “viable option”.

“This submission outlines our very real concern that planning process around this project has been fundamentally flawed, being forced through without any meaningful consultation with the affected communities. We address the threats, posed by the project, to our landscape and tourism and the potential negative impact on agriculture.

“It is incumbent on the Government to commission a fully Independent Cost Benefit Analysis of both over-ground and under-ground options over a 40-50 year lifespan.

“Sinn Féin appeals to EirGRID to act responsibly and to respond to the all-elected view, and the opinion of the people of the affected areas, the affected counties and constituencies and to proceed by underground cabling.”

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