Carthy attends An Bord Pleanála Hearing on North South Interconnector
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has today, Monday, attended the first day of the oral hearing by An Bord Pleanála into the plans by Eirgrid to build an overhead electricity connector through the northeast, held in the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross.
Speaking from the hearing, Carthy said:
"The plan to construct 299 pylons at 26-51 metres height each through the counties of Monaghan, Cavan and Meath is fiercely opposed by the vast majority within our communities.
"It is my firm belief that Eirgrid have failed to understand the depth of local opposition to the construction of these pylons.
"Sinn Féin representatives have been working closely with all those groups and communities across Monaghan, Armagh, Cavan and Meath who have been campaigning on this issue since 2007 and it is clear that their determination is as resolute as ever.
"The concerns of local communities are very real; there are genuine concerns in relation to health, safety, the environment and economic development of the areas concerned.
"The position of these communities is very clear – this project can only proceed if undergrounded. Sinn Féin supports this stance – the party has prepared a submission to an Bord Pleanála and my colleague Peadar Toibín prepared legislation on this issue during the last Dáil term.
"The fact is that Eirgird have been able to underground other projects on a similar scale such as Grid West and Grid Link and it has been confirmed that undergrounding is also possible in this case.
"Indeed, many argue that in the medium to long term, undergrounding is economically beneficial.
"Of course, in order to address this issue in the comprehensive manner it requires there is an onus on the new government, when it is in place, to direct that all high voltage power line networks proceed only on the basis of undergrounding."