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Carthy to bring anti-pylon campaign to EU parliament

30 August, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy will host a delegation to the European Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday 5th and 6th September which will hear at first hand of the technological advances that will facilitate the North-South Interconnector to be undergrounded if the political will is forthcoming.

Speaking today, Matt Carthy said:

“The delegation will consist of stakeholders and community representatives who live along the proposed route of the North-South Interconnector, where a pylon-supported Interconnector would have major negative implications. 

“Campaigns groups involved will include those who voice the interests of citizens, such as the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPP) group, the County Monaghan Anti Pylon committee, and Safe Electricity for Armagh & Tyrone (SEAT), along with elected representatives and journalists.

“It is entirely possible for the Interconnector to be underground in Ireland. This is what expert opinion across Europe is pointing to.  It is what is happening with the Aachen-Liege (ALEGrO) Interconnector between Belgium and Germany.

“I will bring the delegation of Irish community representatives to the headquarters of Elia, the company coordinating the building of the ALEGrO Interconnector, where participants will receive a briefing on the undergrounding technology and the cross-border nature of the project.

“The following day, participants will visit the European Parliament, where they will attend a discussion where they will hear from experts in undergrounding technology for high-voltage power lines.  They will also have an opportunity to discuss the issues of the North South Interconnector with representatives of the European Commission and the Irish government’s representatives in the EU.

“This mission will serve as a great opportunity to highlight that the only mechanism for progressing the North-South Interconnector project is via underground cables.  EirGrid’s proposals to instead impose huge pylon-supported power lines across the countryside of five counties simply will not be accepted by the affected communities.

“Ireland can and must start thinking more creatively when it comes to safeguarding our electricity supply for the future as well as the rights of people living in rural Ireland and indeed our tourist industry.  Undergrounding the North South Interconnector is the most practical, sensible and economically sound option.  

“I hope our work next will help the campaign to achieve that outcome.” 

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