The oral hearing into the controversial north-South interconnector got underway this morning in Co Monaghan and is expected to last 12 weeks.
An Bord Pleanála convened the hearing this morning at the Nuremore Hotel in Carrickmacross into the proposed overground 400 kV Interconnection Development.
It follows the submission in June of a planning application for the development from EirGrid, the state-owned electricity transmission system operator, who welcomed the opening of the hearing.
"The EirGrid project team and its specialist consultants will fully participate in the hearing into this critical piece of electricity infrastructure," said the company. "They will be on-hand to answer questions from the public and other stakeholders and clarify any issues that may arise throughout the hearing."
The interconnector proposal comprises a new 400 kV overhead line, running from Meath, through the east of Cavan and up to the border at Lemgare, County Monaghan. It will link with a proposed interconnection development running through Armagh and Tyrone in Northern Ireland.
Over 900 submissions were received by An Bord Pleanála during the public consultation that followed submission of the planning application. In October EirGrid, at the board’s request, submitted a report to it detailing its response to the issues raised in submissions. The opposing North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC) is expected to release a statement on the matter this afternoon.