Campaign against North-South Interconnector to continue

While a challenge taken against An Bord Pleanala over the North-South Interconnector power line was recently rejected by the High Court, the campaign to halt it will continue, according to Diarmuid Lally, county chairman of the Meath branch of the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA.)

The €280 million EirGrid project involves the building of a power line and 300 pylons between counties Monaghan and Meath.

The case was taken against An Bord Pleanala’s decision to give the project the go-ahead by the North-East Pylon Pressure Campaign.

Lally who owns a dairy farm at Kilmessan, and who is involved in the campaign, said he was very disappointed at the judgment. The fight, he said, is not over. “I wouldn’t say we are at the half-way stage.”

He said putting two pylons in the middle of his land would completely disrupt his way of farming.

Every day we would have to cross under the lines a minimum of four times. If we, or our workers, get sick as a result of the emissions off the lines, who will look after us?

Lally said he was not against 400 kV lines that could be put underground. “This will be a long game. We are 10 years objecting, trying to get the government and EirGrid to see sense. EirGrid is looking at its fourth Chief Executive since this started,” he contended.

IFA Environment and Rural Affairs Chairman, Thomas Cooney, described the decision to give EirGrid planning permission to construct several hundred pylons across the north-east as broadly ignoring the substantial concerns of affected communities.

 “Communities across Meath, Monaghan and Cavan have made it very clear at every opportunity, including at two oral hearings, that this project should only proceed in a way which caused the least long-term impact and that the line should have been put underground.

“From the beginning, EirGrid did not support the proposal to underground this project, which is the only outcome that will pacify landowners,” he concluded.