Cllr Clifford Kelly (FF).

‘I want to see those promises kept’ - Kelly on interconnector

A local Fianna Fáil councillor is calling on all political representatives to step up to the mark and throw their weight behind the campaign to stop the erection of pylons as part of the controversial North South interconnector project.

Cllr Clifford Kelly made his remakes at the December meeting of Cavan County Council. He was reacting to correspondence from Monaghan County Council regarding a resolution passed by the neighbouring local authority.

In November, Monaghan County Council passed a motion calling for an immediate government directive to be issued to Eirgrid to stop all works on the North-South interconnector. The motion, brought forward by Cllr Seamus Coyle, called for an independent report into the technical feasibility and cost of undergrounding the interconnector before signing of contracts.

The North’s Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon, approved the northern section of the project late last year, which paved the way for construction to begin.

“Monaghan County Council called on the Minister to halt the development of the overground cabling of the interconnector,” Cllr Clifford Kelly said after the December meeting of the authority.

“Everyone is surprised that a Minister, who is every much into the environment, would allow it to happen. People are shocked that the leader of the Green Party would agree to put those massive pylons right across Cavan Monaghan and Meath,” Cllr Kelly said.

In the Green party manifesto of 2002, the then spokesperson on energy Eamon Ryan said: “We will ensure that the national grid is modernised to use underground cabling in isolated areas in order to allow more wind power to be harnessed offshore as well as on land.”

However, when in government in 2007, the party weighed in on the side of Eirgrid.

Cllr Kelly said it's no longer enough to pay lip service to the campaign: “We are calling on all the public representative from all parties who promised to work to stop this happening. There are a lot of public representative, TDs and senators, who are very quiet at the present time who have lost their voices.

“I know that as councillors we are very annoyed at this. We are going to put serious pressure on them to speak up and stop this nonsense. It is as cheap now to put the cabling underground as it is to put up the pylons,” Cllr Kelly told the Celt.

He said the time for action is now: “The politicians need to come out and say they are totally against it, to make their feelings strongly know to Micheál Martin that this can't go ahead. They gave promises before the general elections. I want to see those promises kept now.”