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Questions over Eirgrid’s ability to access Land to build North/South Interconnector raised – Tóibín

6 February, 2018

Sinn Féin Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín today questioned the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughton in the Dáil over a significant uncertainty that has arisen over the ability of Eirgrid to access farmers land in order to build the North South Interconnector.

Teachta Tóibín said:

“The An Bord Pleanála’s approval granted to Eirgrid does not include access to the lands where the pylons are proposed to be constructed. An Bord Pleanála has not approved any one of the 584 access routes required through the lands.

“To build these pylons, EirGrid has to try to get over 400 landowners to grant access to their lands. But 97% of these landowners have stated that no access will ever be granted to EirGrid. If Eirgrid access the land, my understanding is they would be they breaching An Bord Plánála’s permission. Legally it is Eirgrid’s duty to get agreement on an access routes and that should be achieved with the farmer and the county council? This is not going to happen.

“Today in the Dáil, I asked the Minister again and again in the clearest of language how this project will access be achieved. The Minister studiously dodged the question. This no doubt will add to uncertainty and confusion on this issue. Given that this is one of the largest infrastructural projects in the government’s plans surely this detail would have been worked out.

“We in Sinn Féin support the North South Interconnector and an All-Ireland energy market. However, it is most important that it be undergrounded as is the wish of the local community.” 

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