A Meath TD has called for the All Party Dáil Group on the North-South Interconnector to force a government decision or pass a bill ensuring it is undergrounded.
Deputy Peadar Tobin stressed that the decision on using pylons for the North South Interconnector lies with the government. He was speaking after he met with representatives from NEPP and the Co. Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee, alongside outgoing Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, and his colleagues Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, and Cavan Cathaoirleach Paddy McDonald on Wednesday, January 31.
Both Mr. O’Reilly and Mr. Hillis raised areas and further actions that the Sinn Féin party could explore and undertake, including through its political engagement with those parties returned to the Northern Assembly. Gerry Adams stated that he had discussed it with members of the party’s northern negotiations team.
Peadar Tóibín TD stated this decision is now firmly in the hands of the government.
“No more distractions should be allowed,” said Deputy Tóibín. “We now need to reconstitute the All Party Dáil Group on the North-South Interconnector to work together to force a government decision or pass a bill ensuring its undergrounded.
“My fear is if the government pigheadedly ignore the community that we will see Eirgrid seek to force their way onto people’s land. Given that the people along the line of the proposed interconnector are decent law abiding people it would be a travesty for the government to disregard their rights in such a manner.”
Speaking after the meeting to The Anglo-Celt, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD stated that the meeting was “most worthwhile” and was an opportunity for the campaigning groups to hear first-hand from President Adams on the issue of the Interconnector.
He was glad to note that Deputy Adams undertook to ensure that his soon to be successor Deputy Mary Lou McDonald was across the issue and was fully briefed on the party’s long standing policy and campaigning in support of the communities’ demands.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said: “I would like to pay tribute to both the Co. Monaghan Anti-Pylon Committee and to NEPPC for their tenacity and stoic leadership on this issue. We in Sinn Féin have and will continue to not only work with the community groups but with all supportive political opinion towards our shared objective of having this project proceed only by underground cabling.
“I am grateful to our outgoing Party President Gerry Adams TD who traveled from the talk in the north to join us today and to all my party colleagues who attended this worthwhile meeting.”