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Pylons: what our TDs think

Friday, 17th January, 2014 10:56am

Pylons: what our TDs think

AS the pylon dispute between landowners and Eirgrid continues, politicians, such as the Taoiseach and Minister for Enterprise, John Burton have spoken out in favour for the construction of the inter-connectors and pylons.
With no foreseeable resolution to the argument, The Anglo-Celt’s Patrice Brady asked Cavan/Monaghan TDs their position on the pylon debate and what they are doing for their constituents.

Caoimhghin O Caolain,
Sinn Féin
“I am 100% in support of the anti-pylon campaign, not just in Cavan and Monaghan, but across the country. I am in complete opposition to Eirgrid and the current government’s plans for pylons, especially in the locations that are in close proximity to homes and schools.
“I have been 100% in support of these pylons being constructed underground for a number of years and in recent months I have campaigned to stop the pylons in the House of the Oireachtas. There has also been a cross-party relationship between the Monaghan TDs on this matter. I, myself, not only as a public representatives would not welcome the construction of pylons in my area.”

Sean Conlan, Fine Gael
“All the Monaghan TDs alongside the Monaghan anti-pylon group have been running a campaign for a long time against these pylons and, as a result, in 2012 Eirgrid withdrew its planning application because if the campaign. Fine Gael then called for an independent commission into whether the pylons being placed underground was feasible.
“Eirgrid had previously told the public that to build underground would cost 20-30 times more than to build above ground. It turns out to only cost three times as much. However in July 2012 the government decided that they would not interfere with operational matters of Eirgrid.
“I have been working alongside Caoimhghin and Heather to reverse the government policy on Eirgrid matters.
However the government did state that they would not interfere with operation with Eirgrid once they provide consultation with farmers and landowners. Eirgrid has not done this.”

Heather Humphreys,
Fine Gael
“I have been lobbying the Minister for an independent cost benefit, to determine overground versus underground to have all the important information. Compensation, as I understand is for the landowners whose land the pylon is on. I feel the impact of the pylons on people who don’t own land should be taken into the equation too with compensation.”

Joe O’Reilly, Fine Gael
“I am in favour of an independent study into the cost, including a cost beneficial analysis to identify the cost in a way that satisfies everyone and everyone can accept.
“When the costing is done, independent necessary discussions in all interest of parties can take place.”

Brendan Smith, Fianna Fáil
“The Fianna Fail party, in early December, brought a private members motion bill to the Dáil calling for an Independent National Assessment to pylons. This assessment will fully address the cost of the underground provisional plans and the health and visual concern. It needs to be fully independent. We need to take into account the people of communities in Ireland and their concerns.”