by Patrice Brady
The North east Pylon Pressure campaign group have expressed disgust that the independent study issued by the government yesterday into the underground high energy powerlines will exclude the proposed 400kw North South interconnector project.
The Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte has announced the setting up of an independent study into the possibility of putting the pylons wires underground.
However the study will only take place in Munster and Connacht, meaning the the possibility of undergrounding powerlines in areas such as Cavan and Monaghan will not be examined. The new independent commission is to be made up of a panel of experts and will be chaired by former Supreme Court judge Catherine McGuinness.
The proposed scheme links Woodland, County Meath with Turleenan in County Tyrone, passing through counties Cavan and Monaghan, and will provide a second high-capacity electricity transmission line between the Republic and the North.
But spokesperson for the North East Pylon Pressure group NEPP, Padraig O'Reilly told The Anglo-Celt it is a "disgrace" this area was left out and feel "let down again" by the Government and local TDs.
“To exclude the north south interconnector from this new expert panel review to an absolute disgrace. We are the only area in the country not to be included. The government are excluding one part of the country on a strategic decision that will affect the whole country,” said Padraig O Reilly.
“We have been let down by our Government and our local TDs especially those from Fine Gael and Labour."
NEPP's are now demanding answers, and especially given the fact that planning on the North-South project is imminent.
"We want answers as we are the first project going to planning, very soon as well and the North-South Interconnector should be a priority in this independent commission.”
The current plan for a North South connector is in the more advance stages of planning than the other Eirgrid projects and will be submitted to An Bord Pleanala within the next three weeks.