Government Report on North South Inter Connector is a 'white wash' – Peadar Tóibín TD
Fine Gael are seeking to construct 409 pylons, up to 51 metres high, caring 400,000 volts through Meath, Cavan and Monaghan, Armagh and Tyrone. There will be a minimum distance of 13 metres to homes allowed.
Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín has said that There are significant real fears with regards threats to health and are significant fears with regards damage to value of homes, farms and business".
Deputy Tóibín said:
"The tourism, agriculture, the blood stock industry will all be significantly affected.
"We in Sinn Féin support an interconnector and an All Ireland energy market. But most importantly we only support it if its undergrounded.
"The truth is that technology that the government seek to build is becoming out of date. Its being superseded by new underground technology that can do the same job.
"Eirgrid have conceded that it can be done. The Aachan Liege project is one such example in Belgium. We also know that the cost of undergrounding is falling all the time.
"The fact that Eirgrid is forcing over grounding on a community that is completely opposed to it is actually delaying the project and costing the state money. I
"Indeed Eirgrid have said that every year this is delayed is costing €30m. They are 10 years pushing the project without any success.
"Central to the Dáil motion which was passed by a large majority was the objective to identify the true cost on overgrounding this project.
"However Denis Naughton has produced a report that completely ignores the central demands of the Dáil and the people who live along the proposed interconnector. It is a white wash.
"The fall in value of homes, farms, business, tourism, agriculture, the blood stock industry are completely ignored.
"Even on the issue of delay the reports are one sided. On one hand the report outlines their estimate of potential costs of a delay if undergrounding is selected. Their estimates are nearly 50% longer than comparative projects in other EU countries.
"However, shockingly, given that the over grounding option has led to nearly 10 years in delays the report does not estimate the further costs that will inevitably come if the government pigheadedly continues to pursue overgrounding.
"It's important to note that the report depends on Eirgrid’s previous publications even referring to them as independent. It is also significant that Eirgrid had prior sight of this report before it was published.
"Regina Doherty, a local Government Minister has stated that she believes that it will never be built. This despite that fact that all of the agencies tasked with the project are going full steam ahead.
"It’s incredible that a Minister would have this view while millions of euro are being spent forcing this project on a community that is 100% opposed to it."