Pylon protesters legal threat over
A pylon opposition group says that the appointment of ‘liaison officers’ by EirGrid only “strengthens landowner solidarity” against “deliberately provocative plans”.
The group is opposing the EirGrid North-South interconnector, planned to go from Meath, through Cavan and Monaghan, to Tyrone.
In April, EirGrid advertised for applications for “officers who will liaise between EirGrid and landowners”, covering the East, the Midlands, the West, the North-West, the South and Northern Ireland”.
The interconnector, a national 400kV electrical pylon system, has been fiercely opposed by the North East Pylon Pressure Campaign (NEPPC).
That group is opposing the appointments, as it has a ‘Form of Authority’ agreement with affected landowners, objecting to pylons.
‘Lack of respect’
The NEPPC said: “It was because of EirGrid’s lack of respect for landowners’ wishes that landowners in Meath, Cavan and Monaghan signed long-term ‘Forms of Authority’ contracts with NEPPC in 2012, requesting that the NEPPC represent them in all dealings with EirGrid and demanding that EirGrid, its servants and/or its agents, does not communicate with the landowners or dare enter its property.”
The group says that should EirGrid’s liaison officers attempt “to contact or negotiate with these landowners” that they will be “in clear breach of the Form of Authority and will be regarded as an unwarranted intrusion of privacy and [legal] action will be taken accordingly”.
The group thinks it “highly ironic” that EirGrid has refused to meet with landowners “as a group” or debate them over the airwaves, “yet it thinks that by hiring security consultancy firms and liaison officers that it can break landowners’ solidarity”.
The move, NEPPC says, will only “strengthen farmer resolve”.
EirGrid said: “These appointments are aimed at building positive relationships with local communities, farmers and landowners affected by grid projects.
“In circumstances where landowners have previously advised EirGrid not to engage directly with them, the liaison officer will respect the their wishes.”