Matt Carthy MEP urges Public to engage with Consultation on North South Interconnector
Speaking as the public consultation period on the north south interconnector planning application commences today, Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West Matt Carthy has called on the public to engage with the consultation process and outline their concerns in relation to the project.
“Unfortunately, due to the Strategic Infrastructure Act enacted by the Fianna Fáil government with the support of Fine Gael the planning process for the North South Interconnector is, in my view, flawed.
"However, that should not prevent interested individuals and communities engaging with the ten week public consultation process which was opened this week (Tuesday) and during which time the public may provide submissions and observations to An Bord Pléanala. The consultation is open from 16th June closes at 5.30pm on Monday 24th August.
“Sinn Féin representatives have been working closely with all those groups and communities in Counties Monaghan, Armagh, Cavan, Tyrone and Meath who have been engaged in a campaign since 2007 against the EirGrid and NIE plans to impose 400kv overhead power-lines and associated pylons on their landscapes
"The concerns are very real; there are genuine worries for health, our environment, the landscape, the economic development of the areas concerned.
“The communities concerned have made their position crystal clear - the North South Interconnector can only proceed on the basis that it is undergrounded.
“Sinn Féin fully supports that position and we will be preparing our own submission to An Bord Pléanala on this issue
“This project, despite 97% landowner opposition, is the only Eirgrid project that remains unchanged since 2009 following its exclusion from the Eirgrid national review.
"Report after report, including one published by the government appointed International expert commission have clearly proved that under-grounding of the power-lines is both possible and feasible.
“Indeed, many argue that in the medium to long term, undergrounding is economically beneficial.
"I am calling on the public to take this opportunity to outline their position on this project and ensure that their voice is heard."